TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Friday, April 26, 2013
Vol. 29, No. 12,538
‘How ethnicity, religion influence appointments of varsities’ officials’ By Rotimi Lawrence Oyekanmi AR from the tradition of acFwhich ademic excellence upon the nation’s universities were built, appointments to their key positions are now increasingly being influenced by ethnic and religious considerations, an investigation by The Guardian has revealed. Instead of curtailing the unethical practice, the Federal Government seems to have tactically endorsed the un-
• Govt dumps merit, names indigenes as VCs, registrars, bursars • Varsities bar northern, southern applicants from ‘elite’ courses written rule; looking the other way each time merit is disregarded in the appointment of vice chancellors, registrars and bursars. The trend now holds sway, especially in the older universities as the government succumbs to pressure orchestrated by ethnic bigots who employ a combination of
threats, blackmail and even religious sentiments to get their preferred candidates appointed. Among the 27 older federal universities, that is those founded between 1948 and as recently as 2007, only the University of Abuja, headed by Prof. J.S.A. Adelabu; the National Open University of
Nigeria (NOUN) headed by Prof. Vincent Tenebe; the Federal University of Technology, Minna (Prof. Musibau Akanji) and the Federal University of Petroleum Resources (Prof. Alhassan Bichi) have vice chancellors that are not directly from the geo-political zones where the respective institutions are located. The other 23
are headed by professors from the same geo-political zones where the universities are domiciled. Of the nine new federal universities established in 2011, three out of the six located in the northern part of the country are also headed by academics from the north. They include: Federal University, Dutse, Jigawa (Prof. Jibril Amin); Federal University, Kashere, Gombe (Prof. Mohammed Farouk); and Feder-
al University, Lokoja, Kogi State (Prof. Abdulmumini Rafindadi). The remaining three are being headed by academics from the southern part of the country. They are: Federal University, Lafia, Nasarawa State (Prof. Ekanem Briade); Federal University, Wukari, Taraba (Prof. Geoffrey Okogbaa); and Federal University, Dutsinma, Katsina State (Prof. James Ayatse). CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Delta indigenes besiege N’Assembly over alleged minister’s N58.9tr oil blocks fraud From Terhemba Daka, Abuja NCENSED by what they conIfraud sidered a monumental involving N58.9 trillion,
Governors Ibrahim Shema of Katsina State (left), Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom); Finance Minister Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala (middle); Abia State Governor Theodore Orji; his Anambra counterpart, Peter Obi and others, during the National Economic Council meeting at the State House, Abuja… yesterday. PHOTO: PHILIP OJISUA
representatives of five oil-producing communities of Delta State yesterday besieged the major gate leading to the National Assembly complex in Abuja. The Delta State indigenes, who were protesting against alleged exclusion of the host communities from the sale of the Oil Mining Leases (OML), submitted a petition to the lawmakers. They alleged that the bidding for the OML was shrouded in secrecy. “By this deal, 60 per cent of NPDC’s 55 per cent stake of these assets is about five billion barrels, which when calculated with the 2013 crude oil benchmark, comes to $380 billion or N58.9 trillion. This figure is exclusive of the 4 Trillion Cubic Feet (4 TCF) of gas asset in the blocks valued at $15.72 trillion “, they said. For six hours, the over 300 CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
Gunmen attack police stations, kill six officers From Bola Olajuwon, Azeez Olrunlomeru (Lagos) and Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) DAY after the Federal GovA ernment inaugurated two committees to check insecurity, fresh violence claimed six policemen in Borno and Yobe states yesterday. In Borno State, gunmen attacked the Bama Divisional Police Station, shot dead four policemen and kidnapped the divisional police officer (DPO) to an unknown destination at 11.00 a.m. They also burnt three houses and part of the market locat-
• Abduct DPO, burn houses, market • Nigeria tasks Security Council on crises in Africa ed near the attacked police station. Bama is 78 kilometres southeast of Maiduguri, the state capital. According to an eyewitness, the gunmen came in two vehicles and three motorcycles to attack the police station with Improvised Explosive
Devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs, before soldiers rushed to the scene to repel the gunmen who fled with gunshot wounds into the community. He said: “We were terrified and shocked by the multiple attacks on the police station, as many of us ran into our
houses and shops for safety, as sporadic gunshots near the station continued for over two hours between the gunmen and soldiers. Some of the policemen at the station took to their heels into various directions.” It was also learnt that the station and the Maiduguri-Ba-
ma Road were cordoned for three hours, before the 4.00 p.m.to 6.00 a.m. curfew imposed by the JTF last month. A resident said that the DPO was forced into one of the gunmen’s vehicles, and taken to an unknown destination. The Borno State Police Commissioner, Yuguda Abdulahi, confirmed the incident yesterday in Maiduguri, adding that no arrest had been made yet by either the JTF or police. In Yobe State, gunmen at-
Achebe’s burial slated for May 23 in Ogidi — Page 4
tacked the Joint Task Force (JTF), police area command office and the divisional police station in Gashua. They killed two policemen while the JTF killed five of the gunmen. Gashua is 85 kilometres north of Damaturu, the Yobe State capital. The gunmen, according to a resident, came in various vehicles and tricycles after midnight and attacked the military post and two police formations with Improvised Explosives Devices (IEDs) and petrol bombs. In a statement, the CONTINUED ON PAGE 2
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Nigeria tasks Security Council on crises in Africa CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 Spokesman of JTF, Lt. Lazarus Eli said that the gunmen escaped in two vehicles, after snatching a police patrol Hilux vehicle with siren, another vehicle and police uniform from the attacked police station. The statement also said that some arms and ammunition were also recovered from the gunmen , noting that the JTF was still hunting for the gunmen that fled into the Gashua community. Meanwhile , the Minister of Foreign Affairs Amb. Gbenga Ashiru has urged the United Nations Security Council to adopt a preventive approach to the crises of Africa. Ashiru spoke at the United Nations General Assembly, New York, on the peaceful resolution of conflicts in Africa. He stated that the role of the UN in the pursuit of peace should not begin and end with peacekeeping, peace support and peace building operations but to engage in peaceful preventive action to resolve disputes before they degenerate into armed conflicts that threaten international peace and security . Also, Ashiru and the United
States (U.S.) Secretary of State, John Kerry, yesterday met in Washington to discuss modalities for strengthening the two countries’ Bi-national Commission (BNC). Welcoming Ashiru and his team to the meeting, Kerry said Nigeria and U.S. “have a close association, close working partnership, and Nigeria is a very important leader within the African Union (AU) as well as the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).” He said that unfortunately, Nigeria was facing some violence in the northern part of the country, “which we condemn, and we join with them in helping to fight against extremism.” The American top diplomat stressed that the U.S. was appreciative of Nigeria’s support “on many numbers of issues, from economic leadership to energy leadership, security. We have a lot of work to do and a lot to talk about. So I’m happy to welcome you here. Thank you.” Reacting, Ashiru said he was also happy to be in Washington to meet with the U.S. Secretary of State. “It’s a very important meeting for us. We appreciate the strategic partnership we have with the U.S. And we believe that as a leading coun-
try in Africa, we can bring so much in terms of the maintenance of peace and security on the continent, which we do on behalf of the UN Security Council and also the United States,” he said. The Guardian learnt that the meeting was expected to discuss an exchange of visit between President Goodluck Jonathan and President Barrack Obama. It would also look into issues related to the forthcoming meeting on global forum on counter-terrorism. The Nigeria-U.S Bi-National Commission was established on April 5, 2010, after both countries entered into an agreement to promote good governance and fight corruption.
Ekiti State Chief Judge, Justice Ayodeji Daramola (left); Speaker, Ekiti State House of Assembly, Adewale Omirin; Governor Kayode Fayemi; his wife, Bisi; Secretary to the State Government, Ganiyu Owolabi and State Chairman, Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Jide Awe, during a Special State Executive Council Session in honour of the late deputy governor of the state, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, in Ado-Ekiti… yesterday.
Delta indigenes besiege N’ Assembly over alleged minister’s N58.9tr oil blocks fraud CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 youths, including women who stormed Abuja in chartered buses late Wednesday, mounted a blockade yesterday and prevented vehicular movement to the National Assembly complex. The development, which left the police and other security operatives in utter helplessness, also compelled parliamentary workers as well as visitors to trek the distance from the National arcade located in the Three Arms Zone to the National Assembly complex. But a quick intervention by the leadership of the National Assembly prevented the protest from degenerating into a crisis as the Senate President, David Mark, as well as the Speaker, Aminu Waziri
Tambuwal, sued for calm and assured that the relevant committees of the parliament would liaise with other stakeholders within 30 days during which a solution to their grievances would be arrived at. The Senate Deputy Majority Leader, Abdul Ningi who received the petition on behalf of the Senate President, specifically assured that the two chambers of the parliament would urgently intervene in the matter for the benefit of the host communities. “The issue of host communities is critical to the parliament and the two chambers will within 30 days look at the petition and ensure that justice is done on the matter,” he said. House Chief Whip, Isiaka
Bawa, who received a copy of the petition along with Deputy Leader of the House, Leo Ogor on behalf of the Speaker, also assured that both chambers of the National Assembly would address the issues in line with legislative procedures. The leader of the group made up of Itsekiri, Ijaw, Urhobo, Isoko and Ndokwa ethnic nationalities, Chief Emami Ayirimi, alleged that two days before President Goodluck Jonathan dissolved the Federal Executive Council (FEC) in 2011 so as to reconstitute it for his new mandate, officials of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company (NPDC), of which the Petroleum Minister is Chairman, secretly transferred production rights in four large oil blocks, OMLs 26, 30, 34 and 42, to a compa-
ny which neither tendered nor bid for the blocks. He urged the parliament to specifically put on hold the handover of OMLS 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41 and 42 to the company and another one pending the determination of the issues raised in the petition. Ayirimi also urged the House to order a cancellation of all the awards on OML 4, 26, 30, 34, 38, 41, and 42 and right of first refusal to be given to the qualified indigenes of the local communities to buy into them. “Why was the entire process organised in such a calculated manner as to completely exclude the interest of the host communities by ensuring that no indigenous company from the host communities benefited from the award?” he queried.
Government shuns merit in varsity appointments CONTINUED FROM PAGE 1 The last three in the 2011 set, located in the southern part of the country – Federal University, Ndufu-Alike, Ebonyi State; Federal University, Otuoke, Bayelsa State and Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti State, are also headed by academics from the south – Profs. Oye Ibidapo-Obe, Mobolaji Aluko and Isaac Asuzu respectively. Looking even at the latest three federal universities established in the North in 2013, Federal University, Gashau, Yobe State; Federal University, Birnin Kebbi, Kebbi State and the Federal University, Gasua, Zamfara State, the first two are also headed by academics from the north (Profs. Shehu Abdulrahman and Lawal Suleiman Bilbis), while Prof. Chuks Ben Okeke, from the southeast, heads the last one. The first generation universities, that had hitherto been the epitome of ethics and due process, have also been bitten by the ethnicity bug. For instance, the University of Ibadan (UI), founded on November 17, 1948, which appointed Prof. Kenneth Dike, from the southeast, as its first Nigerian vice chancellor and Emeritus Prof. Tekena Tamuno, from the Niger Delta region, as vice chancellor from 1975 to 1979, has since joined the ethnic vice chancellors’ club. After the tenure of Ayo Banjo, an emeritus professor of English, who was vice chancellor between 1984 and
1991, all the university’s vice chancellors have always been from the southwest. Between 1960 when it was established and 1966, the University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka also had foreigners as its vice chancellor. They were Dr. George Marion Johnson (1960 -64) and Prof. Glen Taggart (1964-66). In fact, between 1978 and 1979, Prof. Umaru Shehu, a northerner, was UNN’s vice chancellor. However, from 1980 to date, except for 1994 when Prof. Umaru Gomwalk was appointed as the sole administrator, all UNN’s vice chancellors have been Igbo. Take, also, the Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, established in 1962. The institution’s first vice chancellor was British, Dr. Norman S.Alexander before he was succeeded, in 1966, by Dr. Ishaya Audu, a northerner, who held sway till mid-1975. But between 1978 and 1979, the institution also had what would eventually be its only vice chancellor from the southwest part of Nigeria, Oladipo Akinkugbe, a renowned professor of medicine. Since then, ABU’s vice chancellors have always come from the north. In fact, the attempt to appoint one in 2009, when Malam Adamu Ciroma was the pro-chancellor, got so messy that Ciroma decided to resign. The current vice chancellor, Prof. Abdullahi Mustapha emerged in controversial circumstances. The case of the University of
Benin (UNIBEN), established in 1970, is also intriguing. At the expiration of Prof. Emmanuel Nwanze’s tenure as vice chancellor in 2009, the campaign for the appointment of a Bini indigene as vice chancellor became ferocious. A particular group, in an advert published in a couple of newspapers, practically threatened the Federal Government, insisting that it was either a Bini indigene was appointed UNIBEN’s vice chancellor or nobody else. The eventual emergence of Prof. Osayuki Oshodin in November 2009 as vice chancellor, even when he came third among the contestants in the order of merit, is seen as a fallout of that agitation. The ethnic bias has also affected the admission process, as in one northern university and another in the South for instance; it is difficult for students from the South and North respectively, to be admitted for ‘elite’ courses like medicine, law, pharmacy and accounting, according to sources. Banjo told The Guardian that the Federal Government might have encouraged the ethnic dimension by establishing a federal university in each state. To him, the decision by the Federal Government to ‘give’ each state a federal university is being interpreted by the states as their own share of the national cake. He said: “When I was leaving
the University of Glasgow (in 1959) and the position of vice chancellor became vacant, the search party went to New Zealand to get one. And that was because the whole thing was based on merit and the best interest of the university. The distance between New Zealand and Glasgow, Scotland is about 18,805 kilometres.” Education Minister, Prof. Ruqayyatu Rufai, spoke directly on the issue recently, during the inauguration of the governing councils of 21 federal universities in Abuja. She asked the new councils to tackle the glaring irregularities in the appointment of principal officers. Her words: “The councils must ensure that proper attention and priority be accorded the relevant universities’ laws and government guidelines in such appointments. Governing councils must ensure that transparency, probity and due process are followed in the selection and appointment processes, so that the best and the right candidates emerge for these positions.” She added: “The erroneous idea that chief executives or any principal officer (of a federal university) should come from its locality is alien to the system and should not be allowed to becloud your decisions on this. Rather, merit should be the guiding principle.”
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
News FG, WHO move against anti-malaria drug resistance • AU, NMA urge stronger fight against disease By Chukwuma Muanya, Bola Olajuwon, Sereba Agiobu-Kemmer, Adebisi Olonade (Lagos) and Hendrix Oliomogbe (Asaba) HE Federal Government is to establish 18 sentinel sites across the country for malaria vector surveillance even as the World Health Organisation (WHO) launched an emergency response to anti-malaria drug resistance. Minister of Health, Prof. Onyebuchi Chukwu, yesterday at a breakfast meeting in commemoration of the World Malaria Day, said Nigeria, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), Ethiopia, Tanzania and Kenya account for 47 per cent of annual global malaria burden with 116 million cases. Chukwu said the Federal Government, in 2013, hopes to sustain routine Long Lasting Insecticide-treated BedNests (LLIN) distribution, implement a nationwide lar-
Globacom’s Executive Director (Special Projects), Mike Jituboh (left); Globacom’s Group Chief Operating Officer, Mohamed Jameel; Vice President, (West Africa) Huawei Technologies, David Fan; Globacom’s Executive Director, Legal Services, Gladys Talabi; Managing Director, Huawei Nigeria, Jimmy Pang and Globacom’s Chief Technical Officer, Sanjib Roy, after the signing of the $750m (N120b) Glo network upgrade in Lagos… yesterday.
Highway to link Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire coming By Oghogho Obayuwana (Abuja) and Lawrence Njoku (Enugu) MAJOR fruit has fallen off the tree of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS). It is now concluded that a highway linking Nigeria’s commercial hub- Lagos to Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire be constructed to facilitate growing trade and oil the engine of the protocol on free movement of goods and persons. The development came as the Federal Government yesterday restated her commitment to the completion of the rehabilitation work on all federal roads in the country before 2015 as part of its transformation agenda.
Jonathan pledges support for N’Delta council By Itunu Ajayi, Uyo RESIDENT Goodluck Jonathan has restated Federal Government’s support to the council on Niger Delta development to improve the standard of living of the people in the oil-rich region. In a message delivered by the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs and chairman of the council, Godsday Orubebe at the ongoing conference of the council, Jonathan gave his assurance of support for the realization of the mandate of the council through collective effort of all stakeholders. Orubebe noted that traditional rulers in host communities in the region had complained at the opening of the conference of their non-involvement in project execution in the area, a situation he said had pitched contractors, development agencies and partners against host communities thereby making project execution difficult in the area.
Baga killings may constitute crimes against humanity, ACN warns ROM the Action Congress Fwarning of Nigeria (ACN) has come that the killing of 185 people, mostly women and children, in Baga, Borno State, may constitute crimes against humanity which could attract the attention of the International Criminal Court (ICC), especially if the Nigerian government is either unwilling or unable to prosecute those involved. The party, in a statement issued in Lagos yesterday, said far beyond the justifiable call for a judicial commission of inquiry into the Baga massacre, it is time for leaders under whose watch these killings are being perpetrated, to be held to account. It said the killings in Baga, like previous ones in the areas where Boko Haram and the military Joint Task Force (JTF) had clashed, are undoubtedly
a widespread or systematic attack against a civilian population - the definition of crimes against humanity which is one of the four groups of crimes under the jurisdiction of the ICC. According to the ACN, those engaged in the killings, including the Boko Haram sect, cannot and must not get away with these heinous crimes. The party said the only reasons that the killing and maiming of innocent citizens have continued unabated in Nigeria is because such killings in the past, either in Odi in Bayelsa State or in ZakiBiam in Benue State under the watch of then President Olusegun Obasanjo, went unpunished. ‘’Enough is enough! Even in countries at war, innocent citizens are not being daily mowed to death either by
insurgents or state forces, as we are experiencing in Nigeria. It is clear that the Nigerian government is either unwilling or unable to prosecute these crimes, despite the deceptive assurances by those at the helm, hence the ICC must immediately beam its searchlight on the situation in Nigeria. ‘’While we are aware that the killings in Odi and Zaki Biam occurred before July 1, 2002, when the Rome Statute setting up the ICC came into force, the killings in the North, especially at Baga, fall within the temporal jurisdiction of the global court,’’ it said. ACN put the blame for the Baga killings squarely on the shoulders of President Goodluck Jonathan, for allegedly failing to distinguish between support for security agencies battling the insurgents in the
North and the incitement of the same forces against civilians who are caught in the cross fire. Meanwhile, the ACN has urged the National Assembly to investigate how troops from foreign countries became part of the JTF troops now battling the insurgents in the North. The party said this is important to find out who authorised the deployment of foreign troops in Nigeria and what their mandates are. ‘’We know that international troops deployments are authorised at sub-regional, continental or global levels. It is therefore important to find which body authorised the deployment of foreign troops to Nigeria, the same troops that are now alleged to have participated in killing and maiming of innocent Nigerian citizens,’’ it said.
viciding, indoor Residual Spraying (IRS) as well as establish 18 sentinel sites across the country for malaria vector surveillance. “We will also scale up the use of rapid diagnostic tests (RDTs) as well as ensure the availability of Artemisinin-based Combination Therapies (ACTs) and sulphadoxinepyrimethamine (SPs) for pregnant women. In addition to this, we hope to scale up behavioural change communication as well as complete the Malaria Programme Review process,” he said. The minister noted that the country has so far distributed 51,703,880 LLINs and will continue to distribute nets. “However nets alone cannot lead to the expected outcome. We must diversify into other strategies such as IRS, larviciding and environment management. Awareness creation is being scaled up through the use of NIFAA (Nigeria InterFaith Association) as well as the investiture of Malaria Ambassadors.” He further stated: “In the African region, malaria is still of public health importance. Globally, it is estimated that there are about 247 million cases per year and Africa accounts for 86 per cent (212 million) while five countries in the world; Nigeria, DRC, Ethiopia, Tanzania, Kenya account for 47 per cent of global burden (116 million), consequently there is the need for us to work harder than ever to rid the continent of the disease. Various strategies are being implemented in the control. But we need to move on to elimination and ultimately eradication. For Africato eliminate Malaria, our approach must be multipronged and integrated.” As part of the celebration, the Nigerian Medical Association (NMA) presented a proposal on how to reduce the burden of malaria in the country even as scientists identified plants that could be effectively used as repellents to prevent the malaria vector, mosquitoes, from biting the human host.
Boston bombing unique in America’s experience, says expert • U.S. codenames Abdulmutallab ‘underwear bomber’ By Kabir Alabi Garba, Winston-Salem, North Carolina, USA TERRORISM scholar has interpreted the events surrounding last week’s bombings in Boston, including the idea that the suspects’ motivation might have been driven by their faith, and declared the incident as unique in America’s experience. Brothers Tamerlan and Dzhokhar Tsarnaev are believed to be behind the bombings, during the Boston Marathon, that killed three people and injured more than 170 others. Authorities also said the brothers shot a
police officer to death on the Massachusetts Institute of Technology campus. Tamerlan, 26, was killed by police in a shootout, and Dzhokhar, 19, was captured a day later. Dzhokhar told police his older brother was the driving force behind the attacks and that “Tamerlan’s motivation stemmed from jihadist thought and the idea that Islam is under attack, and jihadists need to fight back.” That, said Tom Brister of Wake Forest University, Winston- Salem, may be strong enough evidence to label the bombings “terrorism.”
The don, who spoke to The Guardian in his office on the university campus, had earlier maintained that “linking the April 15 attacks to terrorism” would be difficult despite volumes of information made public about the suspects. “If this is the case, then I think that it is legitimate to call this ‘terrorism’ — especially once the motive is confirmed,” said Brister, a senior lecturer on terrorism and counter-terrorism in the school’s Department of Politics and International Affairs. Brister said it appears that the brothers “are ‘self-radi-
calised’ or what is sometimes called ‘homegrown jihadis’ — although it would not surprise me to find some sort of external links as the investigation moves on.” “Homegrown” or “grassroots jihadis” are individuals or small groups who act autonomously but are connected through the internet and other means with other individuals and groups around the world who share a similar world view. According to him, the relationship between the United States and the Muslim world — locally and globally — might be impacted if it’s
proven that the brothers were driven by Islam. “I would say that it’s not yet clear that they were driven to commit this particular act because of their Muslim faith in and of itself,” Brister said. “There is no evidence for that. There is evidence that they identified as Muslims. I do know that the older brother clearly espoused strict views of Islam, seems to have been influenced by a radical Islamic cleric in Australia (who, however, has not explicitly advocated violent jihad), and — again, using circumstantial evidence — certainly fits the profile of a possible ‘grassroots jihadi.’
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
‘Zamfara deeply involved in good governance tour’
Achebe’s burial slated for May 23 in Ogidi
From Nkechi Onyedika(in Gusau)
From Bridget Chiedu Onochie, Abuja
HE burial of the late AMFARA State Government Z has refuted media report Trenowned author, Prof. that the state had abandoned Chinua Achebe, is already bethe National Good Governance Tour, urging journalists to crosscheck their information before going to press. The Commissioner for Information, Ibrahim Birnin Magaji, who stated this in Gusau during the inspection of some projects, noted that objectivity is the hallmark of journalism and wondered why a reporter based in Sokoto did not confirm from any state official the veracity of his story before publishing. He called on the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) to immediately take such action as would deter others from such acts. According to him, “the Zamfara State Government is deeply involved in the National Good Governance tour.”
ing plotted as the Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekweremadu, pledged yesterday the Federal Government’s commitment to ensuring a befitting burial. Speaking in his capacity as Chairman of a Media Briefing to flag off the burial activities of the late professor, Ekweremadu described Achebe as a detribalised Nigerian who has brought so much honour to Nigeria and the whole of African continent. He disclosed that the Senate would on May 15 pay tribute to
President Jonathan to attend, Tutu heads international committee him through a motion for immortalisation as part of activities that would culminate in his burial in his hometown, Ogidi, Anambra State, on May 23. The lawmaker, representing Achebe’s Senatorial District, Anambra Central, Dr. Chris Ngige, noted that the late literary icon lived for justice and fairness. According to him, Achebe’s refusal to accept the National Honours Award was as a result of the political crises that almost disintegrated his state at the time. Representing Prof. Remi Raji, the National President of the Association of Nigerian Authors (ANA), was Mr. Denja Abdullahi,
vice president of the association, who noted that aside the national committee programmes, ANA has lined up several activities since the death of Achebe was announced on March 22. Meanwhile, the Chairman of Chinua Achebe Transition Committee, Prof. T. Uzodinma Nwala, has unfolded a programme of activities during Achebe’s eight-day burial period. In Nigeria, the events will kick off on May 19 with prayers and religious worship at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. Tagged “Day of Prayers and Religious Worship,” it shall also hold in other centres across the
country. Nwala disclosed that there is an international committee involved in the arrangements concerning the burial ceremony of Achebe, with its overall chairman as Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa. The non-governmental Association of Nigerian Authors, which was pioneered by the late Achebe, will hold a special symposium on the life and times of the late author on the second day. The event, which holds at the International Conference Centre, is tagged “Day of Tributes.” According to Nwala, there would be a harvest of tributes
Hoodlums invade JAMB registrar’s home EGISTRAR of the Joint AdmisR sions and Matriculation Board (JAMB), Prof. Dibu Ojerinde, escaped what was apparently an assassination bid on Monday night, when the hoodlums invaded his home in Maitama District, Abuja. One of the suspected assassins had scaled the fence of his house and gained entry through the backdoor while security personnel, who included two regular armed policemen and other private security guards, stationed at the gate, were oblivious of what was happening. According to Ojerinde, who gave an account as narrated by his children, the hoodlums continuously asked and looked for him but were told that he had travelled for official assignments. Unconvinced, however, they made one of the children lead them into the registrar’s living and study rooms, which they searched thoroughly but could not find him.
Protests in Edo Central over non-release of polls results Large turnout in rescheduled election in South From Alemma-Ozioruva Aliu, Benin City CTIVITIES in Uromi, the A headquarters of Esan NorthEast Local Council of Edo State,
Senior Special Assistant to the President on Publicity, Doyin Okupe, during his visit to Rutam House, Headquarters of The Guardian, in Lagos… yesterday. PHOTO: OSENI YUSUF
Reps okay perimeter fencing of Nigerian borders From Adamu Abuh, Abuja ETERMINED to stop the indiscriminate influx of foreigners into the country, the House of Representatives yesterday unanimously passed a motion permitting the construction of perimeter fence on Nigeria’s borders with neighbouring countries. Nevertheless, the lawmakers stepped down debate on the bill seeking to amend the 2013 Appropriation Act to authorise the issuance, from the consolidation revenue fund, the sum of N4, 987,382,196,690 trillion only.
Step down 2013 Appropriation amendment Of the amount, N388,063,000,000 billion only is for statutory transfers, N591,764,000.00 billion only is servicing, debt for N2,418,976,391,494 trillion only is for recurrent (non-debt) expenditure while the balance of N1,588,578,805,197 trillion only is contribution to the development fund for capital expenditure for the year ending 2013. 31, December Speaker of the House, Aminu who Tambuwal, Waziri presided over the plenary sit-
ting, ordered the bill to be stepped down after the Chairman of Committee on Appropriation, Mr. John Enoh, briefed the House that the voluminous copy providing details of the proposed expenditure would be ready next Tuesday. Prior to that decision, the House had okayed the construction of parameter fence around the country following a motion sponsored by Mr. Hassan Saleh. He argued that there was need to secure the country’s 3,140 square kilometre-
border, running from Malaville, north of Republic of Benin, stretching through Kebbi, Sokoto, Katsina, Jigawa, Yobe and Borno states, down to Mfun in Cross River State, which has boundary with Cameroun. Saleh, who incidentally hails from the same constituency with the Minister of Interior, who is responsible for securing the borders, Mr. Abba Moro, had said: “I am concerned that the rising tide of insecurity bedevilling our country today is a direct fallout of the porosity of borders.” our This adds up with “the lack of
effective manpower, inadequate logistics and lack of conducive working conditions for those charged with the responsibility of manning our border posts, thereby making them to either fail in their duties or compromise their position by allowing all sorts of persons without proper documentation access into the country unhindered.” The House also enjoined the Executive arm to provide better working conditions and incentives for those posted to the borders to keep them focused and committed to their duties and responsibilities.
JTF destroys 7 kidnappers, pirates camps in Bayelsa From Karls Tsokar (Abuja) and Willie Etim (Yenagoa) UTHORITIES of the Joint MiliA tary Task Force (JTF) codenamed Operation Pulo Shield yesterday announced that seven operational camps of kidnappers and sea robbers (pirates) were destroyed during the recent deployment of troops into the Azuzuama Community in the Southern Ijaw Council of Bayelsa State. A former Secretary General of the Ijaw Youth Council (IYC), Comrade Udengs Eradiri, had called on the Federal Government to immediately order the JTF to stop the raiding of Bayelsa communities over the mere suspicion of shielding suspected killers of 12
from national and international leaders, writers and associates of the late professor, while “arrangements would be made for those who are not present to relay their tributes through live telecast. A number of cultural troupes drawn from different parts of the country shall perform during the night of tributes.” The remains of Achebe would be received upon arrival in Nigeria on May 21 by a delegation of Nigerian leaders, as well as diplomatic and cultural representatives from African nations, who will pay their last respect to the late literary icon. Consequently, cultural troupes from different parts of Africa are expected to perform at the airport reception. Coming from the academia, Nigerian universities and those within the African region are expected to participate in a procession and ceremony that would herald the arrival of the corpse in Enugu, Enugu State. This, however, is after the body has been received at the AkanuIbiam International Airport, Enugu, by the south eastern governors under the chairmanship of Governor Peter Obi of Anambra State. Also on hand to receive the body would be the leadership of Ohanaeze and other traditional rulers, whose activities will continue with “Ohanaeze Night of Mourning and Ikoro Salute at Ohanaeze Secretariat in Enugu.”
FG committed to protecting Nigerians, says SGF policemen by armed gunmen. Eradiri urged the JTF to work closely with the ex-militant leader, who knows the perpetrators of that dastardly act, instead of attacking and intimidating innocent citizens, adding that the JTF should not compound the woes of the people of the community, who were already leaving in abject poverty. Meanwhile, the Federal Government has stated its commitment to the protection of Nigerians, their right to peaceful living, to associate and exercise their fundamental human rights in all its ramifications without hindrance despite se-
curity challenges. Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Anyim Pius Anyim, made this declaration yesterday in Abuja in a keynote address at the third Yearly General Assembly of the Network of National Human Rights Institutions in West Africa. He said: “We acknowledge there are some challenges over security threats in some parts of the country. The government remains committed to the protection of lives, property and particularly the human rights of all persons in Nigeria.” Nevertheless, the JTF Media Centre Co-ordinator, Lt.-Col.
Onyeama Nwachukwu, insisted that the security operation in Azuzuama community was successful and has led to the destruction of seven hide-outs used by kidnappers and sea robbers in the Southern Ijaw area. “Following findings from series of thorough surveillance and investigations carried out by our operatives on recent criminal activities of kidnappers and sea robbers in the waterways and creeks along the Delta-Bayelsa axis, the JTF uncovered a number of hide-outs that has served for hibernation to these criminals.” Nwachuk-
wu said. “Maritime platforms, comprising three fibre boats and two sophisticated sea-going boats used by the criminals from their hide-outs were scuttled. Items including one Ak47 riffle magazine loaded with 34 live rounds of 7.62mm, yard of Army camouflage and sewn uniforms, one cartridge belt, wraps of marijuana, two Thuraya phones, radio intercom set and 109 Honduran Lempira (foreign currency notes) were recovered from the hideouts.” Anyim, who was represented at the occasion by the Permanent Secretary, Special Duties, Office of the SGF, Jamila Shuara, assured the participants of their safety while in Nigeria.
were grounded since yesterday morning over non-release of results of the rescheduled council election, which held in the area on Wednesday. Polls results in Esan West, where election held alongside Esan North-East, were declared at about 11.16 p.m. on Wednesday by the Chairman of Edo State Independent Electoral Commission (EDSIEC), Solomon Ogor, who said the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) candidate, Henry Irumudomu, won with 30,911 votes. According to him, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate got 764 votes, the Labour Party (LP) had 144, All Nigeria Peoples Party (ANPP) had 133, Congress of Progressive Change (CPC) 63, and Accord Party (AP), 15. Nevertheless, voting went on smoothly in Oredo and Ikpobha Okha councils for chairmen and councillors. Accreditation started between 8.00 a.m. and 11.00 a.m. in all the polling units visited in both councils yesterday. Meanwhile, a group, Edo is in Safe Hands, yesterday commended the conduct of the local council elections in the state just as it warned that the youths would resist any attempt by the PDP to distract Governor Adams Oshiomhole from his development agenda through “sponsored protests” against the results of the council election. Addressing newsmen in Benin City yesterday, chairman of the association, Washington OsaOsifo, said “the people of Edo State should not be hoodwinked into the empty rhetoric of the Chief Dan Orbih-led PDP because they have no idea of what is referred to as a free and fair election.
THE GUARDiAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Immigrations arrests 182 aliens in Kaduna From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau chief S part of measures to stem the problem of insecurity in Kaduna, no fewer than 182 illegal aliens have been arrested by the Nigerian immigration Service (NiS) in Zaria, yesterday. Speaking with journalists, the state Comptroller of the NiS, Alhaji Hamman Abdullahi Yerima, said the operation, which started around 7 p.m. on Wednesday, was meant to rid Kaduna of illegal immigrants. According to him, men of the NiS went through the night and arrested 212 people out of which 182 were confirmed to be illegal immigrants while 30 were Nigeriens. The NiS boss said: “We have processed the Nigeriens and released them. Out of the total aliens, 180 are from Niger Republic while two are from Benin Republic and the Command will arrange for vehicles to repatriate them to their countries this evening.”
NEMA distributes materials to Baga victims, tasks security agencies From Njadvara Musa (Maiduguri) and Isa Abdulsalami-Ahovi (Jos) HE National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) yesterday commenced the distribution of relief materials to victims of the clash between soldiers of the Multinational Joint Task Force (MJTF) and Boko Haram insurgents at border the town of Baga, in Borno State. NEMA and the Nigerian Red Cross had arrived the town on Wednesday to set up camps for the victims, who started coming out of hiding. The camp was established at the Kukawa local Council Clinic in Baga Town and materials distributed include food items, mats, clothing materials, toiletries, among others, while the Red Cross team also attended to some of the victims who needed medical treatment.
Ajimobi lists factors against Nigeria’s growth From: Iyabo Lawal, Ibadan OVERNOR Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State yesterday blamed the nation’s stunted growth and development on factors such as attitudinal problem, lack of continuity as well as delegation of human responsibility for the spiritual. Ajimobi, while declaring open the ministerial session of the 6th National Council on industry, Trade and investment held in ibadan, said while attitudinal problems had bred institutionalised inefficiency and indolence, lack of continuity had also disrupted some past laudable programmes and policies which ought to have been allowed to run their full course. ``Each time i travel abroad and i see what is happening there, how their systems are running and how things are working to near perfection there, i always marvel and ask myself that germane question: What is our problem in Nigeria? ``However, i have come to realise that our problem could be situated in about three or four factors.
NEWS | 5
Tears as Ekiti pays tributes to late deputy gov From Muyiwa Adeyemi (Head, South-West Bureau) VEN as members of Ekiti State government executive tried to celebrate the life and times of the late Deputy Governor, Mrs. Funmilayo Olayinka, at a special meeting held in her honour yesterday, most of them could not control their emotions and wept profusely. Mrs. Olayinka, until her death on April 6, was the vice chair of that council. Her remains will be buried today at the newly constructed Hero’s Park at Fajuyi area of Ado-Ekiti. The state governor, Kayode Fayemi, who chaired the Council and the Chief of Staff, Mr. Yemi Adaramodu, could not be
consoled realising that their feminine colleague during their three-and-a-half years’ struggle to reclaim their mandate was no more. At yesterday’s sitting, all the members of the Council, consisting mainly of commissioners and special advisers, wore black bands on their arms to depict a moment of grief and they later spoke in turns, commending the virtues of the late deputy governor. To them, the last time Ekiti was thrown into mourning mood of this magnitude was in 1967 when the body of the late Military Governor of the defunct Western Region, Col. Adekunle Fajuyi, was brought to the town for burial. Also, the state House of Assem-
bly also held a special session in her honour where all the legislators, including those representing the state at the National Assembly, eulogised Mrs. Olayinka. At the lying-in-state and afternoon of tributes organised for her at Oluyemi Kayode Stadium, the governor branded Mrs. Olayinka as a reliable partner in the struggle for the emancipation of Ekiti people from the claws of poverty. According to him, “Funmi Olayinka was indeed the Moremi Ekiti. in the true tradition of the legendary Moremi, she gave her all in defence of our people. indeed, there are bound to be many people who will insist that had she stayed away from poli-
tics and Ekiti, she probably would still be alive. Funmi would disagree with that. As a devout Christian, she believed we all have our appointed time with our Maker. “in the six years that i was privileged to be her political partner and boss, she was never given to regrets. She was pleasant in disposition, but always businesslike in work. She focused on our goal of bringing succour to our people in Ekiti with extra-ordinary dedication. i had no reason at any point to doubt her commitment, loyalty or integrity. She was stellar in the performance of the tasks assigned to her and she was clearly central to the success of our administration to date”. Wife of the state governor, Mrs.
Amosun, Kalu, Utomi, others tie development to quality leadership By Tunde Akinola GAiNST the backdrop of criticisms of past and current leadership over the state of the nation, there was unanimity of opinion that for Nigeria to be transformed in the economic and political realms, there must be display of positive attitude on the part of the leaders and the led alike. Addressing participants yesterday in lagos at the first Centre for Values in leadership’s (CVl) Solution Conference Series, titled: “leadership, Faith and Tolerance,” Ogun State Governor, ibikunle Amosun, emphasised that the development of any society was dependent on the type of its leadership structure. According to him, the ability to get people to achieve a common goal rests on how the person wanting to lead was able to convince others. Amosun said: “leadership is the determination to get others do some certain ideals one believes. This can only be done by first convincing the people led that you are up to the task as a leader.” He noted that the foremost nationalist, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, was successful because he was able to harness and coordinate the best brains around to develop the country. “A good leader must be able to identify and coordinate potentials. Once you are
truthful as a leader, people will automatically follow you. Nigerians are not difficult to govern especially if they have sincere leaders,” Amosun stated. Former Finance Minister, Dr. Kalu idika Kalu, said the solutions to the country’s problems could be reached if there was a platform on which “meaningful” stakeholders could chat the way forward. He said there was need to tackle the problem bedevilling the country from the source. According to Kalu, ignorance coupled with ignorance, was responsible for the current state on the nation. To the Founder of CVl and Professor of Political Economy, Pat Utomi, true leaders are problem-solvers. According to him, whenever problem arose, another chance for emergence of a leader had been created. Utomi stressed the importance of bringing up a generation of young people with the right values to move the country forward. According to the former United States (U.S.) Consul General to Nigeria, Brian Browne, who was the keynote speaker, he was not bothered about Nigeria breaking into pieces as some people had predicted; his main concern was that the country might not attain the desired destiny if the leadership structure is not redefined. He said the present genera-
tion listened to more lectures on leadership than any other generation, yet they still suffered qualitative leadership because people did not seem to grasp what leadership entailed. “We need leaders who consider the plight of the people day and night. Whoever thinks about himself more than any other thing should forget about leadership,” he noted. According to the former President of Nigerian Bar Association, Wole Olanipekun (SAN), the country needed leaders who would not only talk but act as well. He said leaders should engage in actions that will interpret what they always preach. Olanipekun said: “We will have a way out when we have leaders that can take actions; leaders that can lead by examples. We need leaders that can build institutions. We do not
have institutions and constitutions, that is why we keep amending and amending. We are not ready to say the truth, even in the house of God! That is why we have not moved forward,” he said. Chairman, House Committee on Nigerians in Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa, decried the deplorable state of the country, considering how successful Nigerians are in their chosen endeavours all over the world. Dabiri-Erewa urged Nigerians to participate in the coming electoral process to determine who leads them. “The country is corrupt because we worship money and power. We are not progressing because there is no compassion in government. That is the main reason why Nigerians should vote women in elective posts if we need compassionate people in the leadership cadre,” she said.
TheGuardian Conscience Nurtured by Truth
SATURDAY, APRIL 27, 2013
Boko Haram Amnesty Committee, President’s Charge And Matters Arising ill the Kabiru W Taminu Boko Haram Amnesty Com-
Govt spends N900m on Zamfara lead poison victims • Nutrition is solution, says OAU teacher From Mohammed Abubakar (Abuja) and Yemi Ogunsola (Lagos) S part of efforts to alleviate the suffering of victims of lead poisoning in Zamfara State, the Federal Government has expended the sum of N900 million to rebuild some of the villages so far affected by the devastation. Already, works have commenced on the sites of the affected settlements. The state governor, Abdulaziz Abubakar Yari, in an interactive session with State House correspondents when he led a delegation of political, traditional and other opinion leaders from the state on a thank-you-visit to President Goodluck Jonathan at the Presidential Villa, expressed optimism that the reconstruction work would soon be completed. The delegation also thanked the President for recently siting a federal university in the area. The governor noted that the government and people of Zamfara State are particularly
happy that the President promised, during election campaigns, to set up the university, and had kept his promise. “You are also aware of our struggle with lead poisoning. Recently, the President approved about N900 million for the remediation of some villages that were affected by poisoning. As i am talking to you, work is on and i and the Ministers of State for Works and information will be at the site to see how the work is going. it is important for us as a community to come and appreciate these gestures by the President.” Meanwhile, a Professor of Environmental and Health Physics from the Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Prof. Joshua Ojo, has said simple ingestion of calcium supplements directly or through the diet may drastically check lead poisoning ravaging some states in Nigeria, especially Zamfara.
Bisi Fayemi, in her tribute, said: “i solemnly pledge before you today that henceforth, your children would be mine, your husband my brother and your parents my parents till the end.” She said the death of Mrs. Olayinka had further imbued her with the determination to intensify awareness campaign among the people of the state on cancer and ways to reduce the scourge among the populace. The stadium had been filled to capacity as early as 9.00 a.m. for an event that was scheduled to start at 12 noon. Husband of the deceased, Mr. lanre Olayinka and the children -Yeside, Ololade and Olamide -joined the dignitaries at the state box. Governor ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, the home state of the deceased’s husband, said a chapter of a glorious life has been closed with the death of Mrs. Olayinka. Amosun, who was represented by his deputy, Segun Adesegun, urged the crowd to learn from the Book of Ecclesiastes in which King Solomon emphasised on the vanity of life. Daughter of the deceased, Olamide, in a tribute on behalf of her siblings, described their mother as God-fearing, brilliant in many ways and amazingly intelligent. “She knew that even if cancer won, God would be there to take her to heaven. She would ask me to recite Philippians Chapter Four Verse Three, which says, “i can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. “She was an epitome of beauty, her sense of style was exceptional though fun-loving, she was a disciplinarian. You know you are in trouble if she called you by your first name”, Olamide said.
mittee wield the magic wand and stem the tide of killings that have come to be associated with the Boko Haram insurgency? We’ll explain the challenges before this Committee.
Menace Of The
Saka Don Port!
The nation is faced with a serious socio-economic and security problem in the incessant deadly clashes between Fulani herdsmen and farmers and or communities across the country. Just what is the solution to what is clearly a herdsmen’s menace?
Why actor Afeez Oyetoro Love & Life would not speak about How Alzheimer’s Syndrome turned my his new deal with husband into a violent, nervous communications giant MTN. lovely wreck.
The Guardian On Saturday...you simply can’t put it down!
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
6 | NEWS
‘Dangers of fuel importation’ From Saxone Akhaine, Kaduna IVEN the widening gap between the supply and demand of petroleum products in Nigeria, continued importation would not be a realistic option for the nation as the cost of importing the products would keep increasing, the Managing Director of Kaduna Refining and Petrochemical Company (KRPC), Mr. Bolanle Ayodele has cautioned the Federal Government. While lamenting that the importation of fuel and other related petroleum products have eaten deep into the standard of living of Nigerians, Ayodele warned that if efforts were not made to reverse the trend, the import bills of products would most likely double over the next 20 years. The KRPC Managing Director said unless the Federal Government took urgent steps to improve on the existing capacities of the nation’s refineries and also engage in building new ones, importation of products would continue to drain Nigeria hard-earned resources.
President Goodluck Jonathan (middle); and Vice President Namadi Sambo (5th left); Governor Abdul’aziz Yari of Zamfara State (5th right) during their visit to the President in Abuja … yesterday. PHOTO: STATE HOUSE
PDP may sue Ekiti govt over billboards
Customs arrests man with arms at Lagos airport Kenya Airways flight KQ532 from Johannesburg , in South Africa, on the April 24, 2013, about 1050 hours, one Mr. Ukeja Goodluck Joseph with Nigerian passport number A04206153, upon normal routine examination with other relevant agencies, his luggage was found to contain one air soft gun zinc alloy shell G.15 pistol which he claimed to have bought for his son claiming that it is not a real gun. “The passenger and the air
soft gun with five sachets of pellets have been handed over to the airport police command for further investigations.” On July, 13, 2012 , NCS at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, (MMIA) Command intercepted an Abuja bound cache of three high calibre air rifles that entered the country through the courier shed of the airport. Concealed as golf bags and
wrapped in a carton, the rifles were contained in a courier package billed for delivering to an unnamed arms smuggler based in the Federal Capital Territory, (FCT) Abuja through a courier company, UPS. Mr. Epowei Charles Edike, the Customs Controller, MMIA Area Command, while parading the suspects, disclosed that it took the eagle eyes of officers of the command to intercept the pro-
From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti HE Ekiti State Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) yesterday threatened a legal action against the state government for removing the billboards of its aspirants despite the fact that they paid necessary fees to the State Signage Agency. The party which declared the action of the government “as illegal and political intolerance” presented photocopies of receipts issued to some of the aspirants by Ekiti State Signage and Advertisement Agency for the billboards erected in different locations of the state capital. But in his reaction, the Director General of the agency, Prince Adewole Ajakaye said the agency had nothing to be worried about because some of the aspirants the party were defending did not complete payment for the billboards. Addressing reporters in AdoEkiti, the chairman of the party, Mr. Makanjuola Ogundipe, said there was no reason for removing the billboards since the owners of the billboards had paid the stipulated fees.
By Wole Shadare and Chika Goodluck -Ogazi HE Nigeria Customs Service yesterday intercepted air soft gun otherwise known as Zinc Alloy Shell G.15 pistol and five sachets of pellets from a passenger at the Lagos Airport during the inward clearance of Kenya Airways flight KQ532 from Johannesburg , South Africa. The pistol was found on the passenger identified as, Mr Ukeje Goodluck Joseph with passport number A04206153 during routine examination by the Customs and other relevant agencies at the Lagos Airport on passengers’ luggage. The passenger claimed that what he had in his possession was a toy gun, which he said he bought for his son. Spokesman for the NCS, Murtala Muhammed Airport Command, Mrs. Thelma Williams said Joseph was nabbed with the soft gun and five sachets of pellets, which she said had been handed over to the Airport Police Command for further investigations. According to her, “ during the inward clearance of
Aregbesola urges religious tolerance
Court rules June 7 on Braithwaite’s application against bank
From Tunji Omofoye, Osogbo
By Joseph Onyekwere
OVERNOR Rauf Aregbesola USTICE Doris Okuwobi of G of Osun State has called for J Lagos High Court, Igbosere tolerance, forbearance, love yesterday said she would deand accommodation among people of all faiths in order to preserve religious harmony and peace in the country. Aregbesola, who made the call yesterday as the special guest of honour at the centenary convention of the Nigerian Baptist Convention (NBC) held in Osogbo, Osun State capital urged the congregation to transfer to the nation the demonstration of love and affinity. It was a day Aregbesola, a devout Muslim, was pronounced an evangelist of the Baptist Faith and conferred with Doctorate degree of the Nigerian Baptist Institute by the President, Nigerian Baptist Convention Rev. Supo Ayokunle. The governor, who led his cabinet members to the convention sought for change of attitudes from adherents of all religions by strictly imbibing the doctrine of Jesus Christ.
cide on the application for an amendment of originating summons filed by prominent Lagos lawyer and an elder statesman, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite on June 7, 2013. The renowned lawyer is suing Standard Chartered Bank of Nigeria Limited over the erection of a 14-storey building and five level car park being constructed close to his residence in Victoria Island by the bank. While addressing the judge yesterday, Braithwaite maintained that his application for amendment of his originating processes is justified and meritorious in law. He submitted that the respondent’s conduct in rushing the construction of the building to the 9th floor is not only manifestly wrong, but makes it necessary for him to amend his originating summons. The lawyer further argued that he was challenging the va-
hibited ammunition which were imported, in sharp contravention of existing Nigerian laws. According to him, Edike, the package which had arms and ammunition, carefully arranged in a golf bag, also contained pellets and other prohibited items, which should not be allowed into the country, except the importer has relevant permits, from the Inspector General of Police.
Experts chart path to better nursing profession By Chukwuma Muanya HORTAGE of manpower, inSpooradequate infrastructure, remuneration, hostile work environment, and no academic backing for graduates of hospital-based programmes have been identified as the major challenges to professional development of Nigerian nurses. This was stated at the 3rd Interactive Forum for Lagos State Nurse Leaders held recently at the Nigeria Institute of Medical Research (NIMR), Yaba, Lagos. Participants at the forum added that nurses, by virtue of
lidity of the development permit allegedly issued by the Lagos State government to the bank. He added: “In all civil litigation, it is the duty of the court to aim at, and to do substantial justice and allow formal amendments as are necessary for the ultimate achievement of justice and the end of litigation. “It is submitted that even where new facts are generated, the amendment sought would still be allowed, since the so called new facts do not introduce any new set of transaction outside the original cause of action.” Citing a Supreme Court judgment, delivered in 1987, Braithwaite argued that, “It is within the power of the court to grant an amendment, even if the amendment would add to the existing cause of action or substitute therefore a new cause of action provided that the additional or the new cause of action arises out of the same or substantially the same facts as are contained in the plead-
their profession and position in the health care delivery system, are expected to be current and versatile in knowledge, skills and attitude to practice, hence they must adapt and embrace various approaches and avenues to self development and improvement. A Fellow of the West African Council of Nurses (FWACN), Mrs. A. O. Oluwatayo in a paper tiled “The Role of the Nurse today and their challenges” said nursing today as a profession was facing a lot of challenges and this had in a great way affected the nurse leaders. Oluwatayo said nursing has
ings.” In response, counsel to the Bank, Adeniyi Adegbonmire argued that the application of the claimant should be dismissed with an imposition of costs. Adegbonmire insisted that, “The application to amend may be made to a judge. Such application shall be supported by an exhibit of the proposed amendment and may be allowed upon such terms as to costs or otherwise as may be just. “The grant of an application seeking leave to amend any process of a party is discretionary in nature. This court must therefore with respect, exercise such a discretion having regard to the laid down principles of law as it relates to the grant of applications of the nature. According to the defence counsel, “the grant of the amendment sought by the Claimant/Applicant would visit great injustice upon the Defendant/Respondent.” The court had at the last pro-
and continues to face significant challenges to its identity and sustainability due to prevailing forces of economics and demographics and due to the professional and political response of the profession to date. “Also nursing education remains hospital-centric when the majority of health care is delivered outside the acute care setting,” she added. On how to move the profession forward, Oluwatayo said future educational models should emphasize more sophisticated methods of problem solving and analytical
ceeding adjourned hearing in the suit to enable the Claimant/Applicant file a reply on point of law to the defendant’s counter-affidavit and written address. Braithwaite had earlier informed the court that the construction close to his residence in Victoria Island by the bank is illegal. In a 34-paragraph affidavit deposed to on his behalf by one Ismaila Shaib Usman, the eminent lawyer had sought the court’s order, stopping the bank from constructing such building in a residential area. Braithwaite also informed the court that the development permit which the defendant purportedly obtained from the state government authorising a mixed development in the area was invalid and unlawful, pointing out that the bank had continued to build on the land even while the case lasted in court. He equally argued that the purported change of user obtained by the defendant for the purpose of erecting the structure was totally unlawful.
skills rather than attempting to teach an increasingly complex body of knowledge. “Finally, the nurse educator leaders should groom future leaders. There is no time to waste,” she said. A consultant nurse and officer of the Nursing and Midwifery Council of Nigeria (NMCN), Ijeoma J. Ohajuru, in a paper titled “Current Issues on Professional Development in Nursing” said the Council is working hard to upgrade the schools of nursing so as to enable them issue academic certificates to the graduates of the schools.
According to the elder statesman, “the claimant sometime in December, 2012 commissioned a team of renowned international scholars and experienced architects, physical planners, urban designers, landscape architects, to undertake a thorough Environmental Impact Audit (EIA) of the defendant’s building vis a vis its immediate environment with particular reference to claimant’s residence. “The report of the EIA, prepared and submitted by Urbach Tropical Designs (Architects, Physical Planners, Urban Designers, Landscape Architects, consultants) is hereby pleaded and shall be relied upon at the trial, and that the evidence to be given by these experts shall also include the use of electronic devices i.e. computer video recording and projector, notice of which is hereby given.” He is also praying the court for a declaration that the construction by the bank is unlawful and damaging to his rights.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
‘Path to healthy nation’ From Charles Coffie-Gyamfi, Abeokuta UNIVERSITY teacher has suggested that daily consumption of fruits and vegetables should be embedded in the country’s National Health Policy as one of the major ways to improve the country’s health status. Prof. Isaac Olatokunbo Aiyelaagbe, who spoke in Abeokuta while delivering the 39th Inaugural lecture of the Federal University of Agriculture Abeokuta (FUNAAB), told his audience that “without a healthy populace, all the talks about national development will be like a cloud that brings no rain”. Aiyelaagbe regretted that many Nigerian children who are less than five years of age suffer from Vitamin A deficiency due to poor nutrition with obvious health implications, including poor eyesight.
Death of deputy govs halts NGF meeting From Karls Tsokar, Abuja IGERIAN governors met but did not discuss as they mourned the death of the deputy governor of Ekiti State and the immediate past deputy governor of Benue State. The meeting of the Nigerian Governors’ Forum (NGF) at the Rivers Governor’s Lodge in Abuja on Wednesday suspended deliberations, citing the deaths of the Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs. Olufunmilayo Olayinka and her ex-colleague in Benue State, Ogiri Ajene, as the reason for the action. They also observed a minute silence in the honour of the deceased. Chairman of the Forum and Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi, while addressing journalists at the end of the meeting, said:” The forum could not deliberate on any issue today but only mourned the demise of our colleagues, the deputy governor of Ekiti State and former deputy governor of Benue State”.
Absence of EFCC witness stalls trial By Joseph Onyekwere RIAL in the case of one Jonathan Udeagbala charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for allegedly defrauding two Lagos businessmen, Francis Nwagbale and Leo Eze of N170 million at the Lagos High Court, Igbosere, was yesterday stalled due to the absence of the prosecution witness. EFCC counsel, Rotimi Oyedepo, apologised to the court for the absence of the witness and prayed the court to give an adjournment date when the witness will be present in court. “I apologise for the absence of the witness and I pray the court to give an adjournment date so that the witness to the case can be produced in court,” he pleaded. Defendant’s counsel, Mr. O.C. Ikebulu, did not object to the prayer for an adjournment. Consequently, Justice Deborah Oluwayemi adjourned the case to May 20 when the witness will be present in court. The accused was charged on a four-count charge bordering on forgery, obtaining money under pretext and stealing.
Nigeria, UK pledge better economic ties From Oghogho Obayuwana, Foreign Affairs Editor VEN as efforts are being intensified to stem the irregular migration from Nigeria to the United Kingdom (UK), Nigeria is seeking to invoke other co-operation agreements that could make for greater economic ties with Britain. This was disclosed at the review meeting of the Nigerian-UK dialogue on migration, which got under way in
Abuja yesterday. Nigeria is UK’s 33rd largest overseas market, and the bilateral trade is projected to hit $12.3 billion in 2014. Apart from deliberating on the critical issue of repatriation of illegal immigrants in Britain, both countries are also looking at how to leverage on existing immigration co-operation agreement to achieve other ends, such as trade and investments. Last year alone, over 150,000 Nigerians made their way
into the UK. Conferring with the British team on Wednesday, the head of the Nigerian delegation to the dialogue and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Martin Uhomoibhi, said both countries were committed to doubling their existing trade by 2014 with the help of the memorandum of understanding (MoU), which seeks “to facilitate investments, prisoner transfer, as well as general migration issues.”
communiqué (of the agreement) that was signed.” Explaining further why immigration has become a key issue in bilateral relations between the two countries, Simon said: “For us, migration is one of the major issues worldwide. It involves globalisation. “Yes, Nigerians are coming to the UK but we do have about 100,000 UK citizens that also visited Nigeria last year. We have a very large population of Nigerians in the UK and they make very valuable contributions to our society.” On the vexatious issue of visa, she said: “We appreciate your concern on the efforts of the UK visa service and we will continue to do more because we firmly believe that it is in the interest of the UK to see Nigerians come to the UK and study legitimately. “One of the main points of today’s discussion is how to tackle irregular migration and how we can address issues of people in the UK who have no legal right to be there. We are grateful to the National Assembly (of Nigeria) for taking up the issue of prisoner transfer.” According to him, “human trafficking was a new item on the agenda when we met in October and now, we can really build on the discussions we started because it is of real shared interest. Also, on our aspirations to double bilateral trade, this is really worthwhile to bring it to the table now to ensure we facilitate trade in both directions”.
The dialogue is a bi-yearly event, which had since been strengthened with the agreement signed in July 2011 by President Goodluck Jonathan and British Prime Minister, David Cameron. According to the head of the British delegation and Director of Migration Department, Foreign and Commonwealth Office, Susannah Simon, London now sees migration (immigration) “as a major factor in our bilateral relations with Nigeria from the
Why crisis in education sector persists, by varsity teacher From Tunji Ajibade, Zaria HE gap that has persisted between those that formulated education policies and those that made budgetary provisions for the sector has been identified as the main problem confronting education in recent times not only in Nigeria, but in Africa in general. Speaking at the Seminar Series organised by the Faculty of Education, Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria on Tuesday, the guest lecturer, Prof. K. Venkateswarlu, who spoke on the topic: “Trends and
Concerns of Planning for Affordable and Sustainable Education”, said the purpose of education in the years past was primarily to achieve broad but laudable goals and that whatever the goals there were, depended on the means and that there were plans to achieve them. He added that because of the rising cost involved in the sector, governments became involved in planning and subsequently took over the control of education on the continent. He further noted that the
‘Nigeria may overtake S’Africa on HIV’ WHO alerts on fresh bird-flu outbreak From Emeka Anuforo, Abuja ONTRARY to widely held views, more men die daily from HIV/AIDS than women. This assertion, which was made public by the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), came as the Global Fund warned that Nigeria could overtake South Africa as the most HIV burdened country. And despite promising advances in recent years, such as declining AIDS and TB mortality and a sharp increase in the use of insecticide-treated nets, Nigeria faces serious health challenges, the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria (Global Fund) has appealed to President Goodluck Jonathan to further expand domestic investment in health. Meanwhile, a new bird-flu strain that has killed 22 people in China is “one of the most lethal” of its kind and transmits more easily to humans than another strain that has killed hundreds since 2003, a World Health Organisation (WHO) expert said on Wednesday. Nigeria, according to the Fund, has the second-largest number of people living with HIV in the world after South Africa. But, according to the world body, only 30 per cent of those needing treatment are on anti-retroviral therapy and only 16 per cent of pregnant HIV-positive women are getting prophylactic treatment to prevent them from passing on the virus to their babies. The Fund said in Abuja on Wednesday that Nigeria stands the risk of overtaking South Africa unless more urgent actions are taken. The country also has the second-highest child and
maternal mortalities in the world, in absolute numbers, and accounts for nearly onethird of deaths from malaria globally. While TB mortality has fallen significantly since 2003, case detection rates are still among the lowest in the world. Director General of NACA, Prof. John Idoko, who spoke at a briefing in Abuja alongside a visiting team from the Global Fund, stressed that men die more from HIVrelated diseases than women in Nigeria. He spoke of how some surveys conducted around Nigerian hospitals revealed that more women go out for HIV services like testing, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) and treatment than men who continue to live in denial. The H7N9 flu has infected 108 people in China since it was first detected in March, according to the Genevabased WHO. Although it is not clear exactly how people are being infected, experts say they see no evidence so far of the most worrisome scenario - sustained transmission between people. An international team of scientists led by the WHO and the Chinese government conducted a five-day investigation in China, but said they were no closer to determining whether the virus might become transmissible between people. “The situation remains complex and difficult and evolving,” said Keiji Fukuda, the WHO’s assistant director-general for health security. “When we look at influenza viruses, this is an unusually dangerous virus for humans,” he said at a briefing.
problem had arisen because the resources available to government to fund education were dwindling while cost soars. This, he said, has led government to finding ways and means to control expenditure. Speaking further, Venkateswarlu, who is a professor of Physical and Health Education at ABU, said: “Therefore, there was a need for the budget makers and education planners to device a means of achieving goals without sacrificing quality. Unfortunately, here was the weakest link in this chain of events and this was the separation of budgetary making processes from education planning. “Whereas economists in the Ministry of Education were expected to frame the budget with the predetermined objectives, education planners were expected to prepare the plans to achieve these goals. But unfortunate-
ly, the planners were never given the opportunity to find out the reasons being given to achieve these goals. There was a gap between those drawing up the budget for education and the planners”. Venkateswarlu, while noting the importance of education to socio-economic and political needs of the nation, therefore, called for better funding and greater synergy in the sector. In his welcome address at the event, the Dean, Faculty of Education, Prof. Tijani Abubakar, noted that the Seminar Series has come to stay and has become part of a new action plan to reposition the Education Faculty and make it the leader among all other faculties of education in country. Present at the seminar was the Vice Chancellor of the university, who was represented by the Dean of School of Postgraduate Studies, Prof. Adebayo Joshua.
SUNDAY, APRIL 28, 2013
Polity Thickens As ACN Surrenders Certificate To APC S this bold risk by the Action Congress of Nigeria going to be worth it; will other merging parties have the gumption and political sagacity to sustain this tempo; and what is the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) doing to remain in contest as 2015 draws closer? Tough questions, but you will find answers in The Guardian on Sunday.
Primate’s Warning O Not Try 2015, PriD mate Olabayo of the Evangelical Church of Yahweh warns President Jonathan.
Warri’s Business Axis — Why Aladja Steel Company is dead.
The Guardian On Sunday is new, fresher, bolder; a delight to behold and more importantly, reader-friendly! Book a copy today.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
AfricanNews 40 killed in Liberia’s fire outbreak BOUT 40 people were Service named firefighters A feared burnt to death on who perished in the colWednesday night when a lapsed building as Francis building located in the Waterside commercial district in central Monrovia was gutted by fire, local authorities said yesterday. The casualties, a report by Xinhua claimed, include members of a Lebanese family and looters who had gathered in the building on the pretext of helping to fire. the fight The building, owned by the famous Fouani Brothers and estimated to be more 50 years old, collapsed on them instantly. Captain Augustine Kolubah of Liberia’s National Fire
Saywon and Nathaniel Wesseh. He said other two firefighters from the Liberia Petroleum Refining Corporation narrowly escaped death in the inferno. He added that five bodies have so far been recovered in the debris of the collapsed building. Armed officers of the United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) and the Liberia National Police have been deployed to the area while a search for bodies in the debris was ongoing as at yesterday.
Opposition queries Benin Republic’s govt over phone-tapping EPUBLIC of Benin’s oppo- Wednesday. R He said inconveniences sition parliamentary group, the Unity for the Na- during in-coming or outtion (UN), has queried the government over suspected tapping of the telephone conversations of some political and business leaders. “Rightly or wrongly, a number of political leaders as well as economic operators have complained of their telephone conversations being listened to by a third party,” Eric Houndete, the chairman of the UN parliamentary group, said on
going calls, suspected noise and revelations on the private life of citizens make one believe that phone-tapping was a reality in the country. Citing Article 106 of the internal rules of Benin’s Parliament, he asked the government to give parliamentarians precise responses on the issue and reveal any incidents for judicial or national security purposes in the past 24 months.
DR Congo’s militias kill 20 in attack on camp WO militia groups on T Wednesday attacked the positions of the 102nd regiment of the Democratic Republic of Congo’s Armed Forces (FARDC) in Chishadu, South-Kivu Province, leaving about 20 people dead Civil society sources said that the militia groups who attacked the army positions were suspected to be the men of army deserter, Colonel Albert Kahasha, alias Foka Mike, and those allied to Maheshe – known for leading one of the most dangerous militia in that locality. Xinhua cited sources as claiming that the residents of Chishadu and those from neighbouring villages were forced to stay in their homes the whole day. The source said on Wednesday night that the attack left at least 20 people dead, and they included both civilians
and the militia. A military source in Kinshasa confirmed the attack, but by late in the night, the source indicated that fighting was still ongoing and “feared that the death toll could be h i g h e r . ” Eyewitnesses said that the assailants started by burning down the FARDC tents in C h i s h a d u . “The FARDC soldiers retaliated by trying to push back the militia. Finally, the FARDC were forced to leave their position,” the eyewitnesses a d d e d . Foka Mike’s militia has always collaborated with other militia groups to attack South-Kivu villages. Kahasha, who is the militia leader, deserted the Democratic Republic of Congo army and had announced several times his intention to rejoin the army, but has refused to do so.
UN authorises 12,600 peacekeepers for Mali FTER much foot-dragging, A the United Nations (UN) Security Council has finally and unanimously agreed to send a 12,600-member international force to Mali to take over from French and African troops battling Islamist guerrillas. A report by Agence France Presse (AFP) indicated that the UN is aiming for a July 1 start by the new force, but the 15-nation council will decide later whether the conflict has eased enough for the handover. “We know its going to be a fairly volatile environment,” UN peacekeeping chief, Herve Ladsous, told reporters after the vote. Mali called French troops into the country in January to halt an Islamist advance on the capital, Bamako. French and African troops have since pushed the AlQaeda-linked militants into desert and mountain hideouts, from where they are now staging guerrilla attacks. France is winding down its force from its peak of nearly 4,500 but is to keep up to 1,000 troops in Mali and they will maintain responsibility for military strikes against the Islamists. The UN Resolution 2100 authorises France to intervene if the UN troops are “under imminent and serious threat and at the demand” of UN chief Ban Ki-moon. In a statement welcoming the UN resolution, France’s President Francois Hollande said: “Our soldiers still in Mali
will be able to come to the support of the peacekeeping operation if circumstances demand.” The resolution also states that the new UN force should use “all necessary measures” to stabilise major cities, protect civilians and help the government extend its authority over the vast West African nation. But Mali remains unstable with Tuareg rebels still refusing to disarm. And UN officials acknowledged the dangers facing the UN Multidimensional Integrated Stabilisation Mission in Mali, to be known by its French acronym MINUSMA. “In an environment that will certainly see assymetric attacks, the stabilization mission will have to defend itself and its mandate depending on circumstances,” said UN peacekeeping chief Ladsous.
In a recent report on Mali, Ban said the new UN mission would face “significant threats” including “terrorist groups and tactics, the proliferation of weapons, improvised explosive devices, unexploded ordnance and landmines.” The UN force will have a maximum of 11,200 soldiers and 1,440 police, most of whom will come from the 6,300 troops from 10 African nations already in Mali. About 150 French soldiers will join MINUSMA. The Security Council will decide over the next 60 days if there has been a “cessation of major combat operations by international military forces” and “a significant reduction in the capacity of terrorist forces to pose a major threat” so the UN mission can start on time. Mali’s army launched a coup in March 2012, which un-
leashed the chaos that allowed Tuareg rebels and their erstwhile Islamist allies to take over the north of the country and impose brutal Islamic rule. Many shrines in Timbuktu and other cities were destroyed, and public executions and amputations staged. The UN mission will help to retrain Malian security forces and will also play a key role in political efforts to rebuild the enfeebled Malian state. They will help Malian transitional authorities organize “inclusive, free, fair and transparent” presidential and legislative elections and help start “an inclusive national dialogue and reconciliation process.” A special representative for Mali will be named to direct the mission. Mali’s Foreign Minister Tieman Hubert Coulibaly called the resolution “an important step in the process to stem the activities of terrorist and rebel groups.” Widespread doubts have been expressed however about the government’s ability to hold elections by the target date of July 31. The UN will have to help overcome deep mistrust between the Bamako government and Tuareg and Arab minorities. The international community is also concerned about the lingering influence of the Mali coup leaders over the transitional government.
S’African parliament passes controversial secrecy bill ESPITE fears expressed by D critics that secrecy bill would muzzle the media and provide cover for corruption in government, the South Africa’s Parliament yesterday voted in favour of the fiercely contested law. Agency reports stated that the Protection of State Information Bill, which would replace apartheid-era legislation on classified information and espionage, passed with 190 votes with 73 against, and one abstention. A “technical problem” showed that the African National Congress’ (ANC) Chief Whip was initially recorded as voting ‘no’. His ballot was later reversed to a ‘yes’ vote. The minister of state secu-
rity, Siyabonga Cwele, told parliament the bill would “strengthen democracy while balancing transparency and protecting our national security and national interests”. “There is no one who can hide corruption through this act,” he said, adding that the revised bill provided whistleblowers even more protection. Under the bill, espionage-related cases carry a punishment of up to 25 years in jail, and holding or disclosing classified material carries a maximum of five years’ imprisonment. The bill has met fierce opposition from the media, rights groups and the opposition,
which fear it will be used to persecute whistleblowers and stifle press freedom in country where the media regularly uncover government corruption and wasteful spending. In recent years, journalists have used leaked documents to level accusations of highlevel corruption against leading members of the ruling ANC. They included President Jacob Zuma, who was implicated and appeared in court on charges relating to a arms deal. The charges were dropped just months before he became head of state. Press reporting has also led to allegations that Zuma spent tens of millions of dollars of taxpayers’ cash to reno-
vate his private home. Since first mooted in 2008, the bill has undergone several amendments, but was ultimately pushed through by the ANC’s overwhelming parliamentary majority. Opposition Democratic Alliance (DA) parliamentary leader Lindiwe Mazibuko slammed the bill as a “unconstitutional” and a threat to “democracy’s foundational values of freedom and openness”. “Media cannot function when important information is suppressed. Bad governance thrives under the cloak of darkness. Those who have nothing to hide have nothing to fear,” she said.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
WorldReport Obama, ex-presidents honour Bush at new museum’s launch T an event graced by a rare A gathering of all living United States (U.S.) presidents,
United States (U.S.) President Barack Obama, former presidents George W. Bush, Bill Clinton, George H. W. Bush and Jimmy Carter arrive for a dedication ceremony at the George W. Bush Library and Museum on the grounds of Southern Methodist University in Dallas, Texas….yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
U.S., UK confirm chemical weapons’ use by Syria N indication that the Syrian A government must have crossed the red line in its war with rebels came yesterday as the United States (U.S.) White House and United Kingdom said that Syria had likely used chemical weapons against rebel forces. The White House said Syria had used the weapons on a “small-scale,” but emphasised that the U.S. spy agencies were still not 100 per cent sure of the assessment. On its part, Britain’s Foreign Office said London has “limited but persuasive” evidence of the use of chemical weapons in Syria, including sarin gas, , following similar comments by U.S. officials. However, U.S. intelligence services had been investigating reports that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s forces had used chemical arms – a move Washington has said would cross a “red line,” triggering possible military action. “Our intelligence community does assess with varying degrees of confidence that the Syrian regime has used chemical weapons on a small-scale in
Syria,” U.S. National Security Council spokeswoman Caitlin Hayden said. The assessment, which she said was based in part on “physiological samples,” points to the possible use of sarin, a man-made nerve agent used in two attacks in Japan in the 1990s. It can cause convulsions, respiratory failure and death. Hayden, however, warned the chain of custody of the weapons was “not clear, so we cannot confirm how the exposure occurred and under what conditions.” “Given the stakes involved, and what we have learned from our own recent experience, intelligence assessments alone are not sufficient,” she said. U.S. Defence Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking in Abu Dhabi, said the decision to release the intelligence report had been “made within the past 24 hours” and warned that use of such weapons “violates every convention of warfare.” In London, Britain’s Foreign Office too said it had “limited but persuasive” evidence of the
use of chemical agents in Syria’s grinding civil war, which the UN said has left more than 70,000 people dead since it began in March 2011. “This is extremely concerning. Use of chemical weapons is a war crime,” she added. “We have briefed our allies, partners and the UN on this information and we are working actively to get more and better
This is extremely concerning. Use of chemical weapons is a war crime… We have briefed our allies, partners and the UN on this information and we are working actively to get more and better information. information.” Reports earlier this month said British military scientists had studied a soil sample brought back from an area
close to Damascus and found it tested positive for chemical weapons, although the government has not confirmed that.
British newspapers release rival watchdog plans RITISH newspapers yesterday rejected government plans for a state-backed press watchdog and published their own proposal for selfregulation in the wake of the phone-hacking scandal at Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World. The three main political parties struck a deal in March for a beefed-up regulator underpinned by law, which they said was needed to rein in the excesses of Britain’s famously raucous tabloid press. But the newspaper industry yesterday unveiled its own plans for a self-regulatory sys-
tem without any state involvement, saying the government proposal to set up a watchdog by a so-called royal charter threatened press freedom. “A number of its recommendations are unworkable and it gives politicians an unacceptable degree of interference in the regulation of the press,” said a statement coordinated by the Newspaper Society, the industry body. The rival regulatory plan proposes fines of up to £1 million ($1.5 million, 1.2 million euros) and prominent corrections, just as the government scheme does.
But it demands more public consultation to allow newspapers and magazines to have their say on the terms of the royal charter. It also opposes any legal underpinning of the regulator. The government said it would look at the proposal. But campaign group Hacked Off said newspapers were “defying the will of parliament”. Hacked Off counts Hollywood star, Hugh Grant, was involved in the final negotiations with political parties that newspapers were excluded from.
Iraqi PM warns of sectarian war as death toll mounts MBATTLED Prime Minister E of Iraq, Nuri al-Maliki, warned yesterday of a return to “sectarian civil war” after 176 people were killed in three days and gunmen were given 48 hours to vacate a town they seized. Maliki called for people “to take the initiative, and not be silent about those who want to take the country back to sectarian civil war,” in remarks broadcast on state television. The violence erupted on Tuesday when security forces moved in against anti-government protesters near the Sunni Muslim town of Hawijah in northern Iraq, sparking
clashes that left 53 people dead. A wave of subsequent unrest, much of it apparently revenge attacks for the Hawijah clashes, killed dozens more people and brought the toll by yesterday to 176 dead and 282 wounded. The protest-related violence is the deadliest so far linked to demonstrations that broke out in Sunni areas of the Shiite-majority country more than four months ago. The protesters have called for the resignation of Maliki, a Shiite, and railed against authorities for allegedly targeting their community, including with what they say are wrong-
ful detentions and anti-terrorism charges. Yesterday, attacks in Fallujah, west of Baghdad, killed two Sahwa anti-Al-Qaeda militiamen, two federal policemen, and wounded two more, police and a doctor said. And a roadside bomb in Jurf al-Sakhr, south of Baghdad, killed two patrolling soldiers, according to police and a medic. Security forces also killed four gunmen in Qara Tebbeh town in Diyala province, while three were killed and two wounded, then arrested, in Kafak near the northern city of Mosul, Staff
General Ali Ghaidan Majeed told AFP. The toll from heavy fighting on Wednesday in Mosul also rose, with officers and a doctor saying a further 31 gunmen and four police were killed, bringing the total to 40. Meanwhile, Majeed told AFP that gunmen holding the town of Sulaiman Bek in Salaheddin province have 48 hours to disperse or face attack. The gunmen swarmed into the predominantly Turkmen Sunni town on Wednesday after deadly clashes with the security forces, who pulled back in the face of the offensive
as residents fled. Local official Shalal Abdul Baban said gunmen were still in complete control of the town but that the army was deploying reinforcements on the outskirts. The military said the operation in Hawijah that sparked the clashes was aimed at the Naqshbandiya Army, a band of Sunni militants it said had infiltrated the ranks of the antigovernment protesters. Two leaders of the Hawijah protest said yesterday they would form a wing of the Naqshbandiya Army in response to Tuesday’s killings.
President Barack Obama yesterday lauded George W. Bush as a leader of “incredible strength and resolve” who faced a storm of terrorism head on. The event was the opening of Bush’s library. In front of the building meant to shore up his place in history, partisan divides were hinted at but put aside, as Bush was painted as a man of courage and compassion. “He is comfortable in his own skin. He knows who he is ... he is a good man,” Obama said of Bush, who blinked quickly, and set his jaw as he fought back emotion, as he won praise from the exclusive club of presidents. Obama praised Bush for the “incredible strength and resolve” he projected through a bullhorn when he stood on a pile of rubble at Ground Zero in New York after the September 11 attacks. Despite his sharp previous claims that Bush stained the U.S. image abroad with the pre-emptive war in Iraq and his anti-terror policies and crashed the American economy, Obama thanked Bush for his advice when he took office. “No one can be completely ready for this office. America needs leaders who are ready to face the storm head on .... that is what president George W. Bush chose to do,” Obama
Teenager slays three with Kalashnikov in southern France TEENAGER, who was said to A be apparently deranged, reportedly shot three men dead after opening fire on cars and passersby in the southern French town of Istres yesterday. A 55-year-old woman was left slightly injured after a bullet grazed her ear and police found a Kalashnikov automatic rifle in a ditch near the scene in the small town near Marseille, police sources said. “Everything points to him having dumped it there after the shooting,” one said, adding that the suspect was known to police for hoarding military weapons and had a history of psychiatric problems. One of the victims, a man thought to be in his sixties, was shot dead at the wheel of his car, the other two were male pedestrians, both local men aged 35 and 45 respectively. A witness to the incident described how the 19-year-old suspect had walked around with his rifle poised “as if he was out hunting” and might easily have killed more people. “When a car drove up to him, he raised his rifle and pointed it at the driver. Luckily, there was no one on the roundabout ahead and the driver did not stop. That saved his life.” Interior Minister Manuel Valls, who was expected to visit the scene of the crime on yesterday evening, described the killing as a very worrying example of France’s gun crime problem.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
POLITICS | 11
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Politics Militancy: Its necessity and limits (2) By Ben Nwabueze CONTINUED FROM YESTERDAY HE crisis in the Niger Delta was the product of the circumstances of grievous wrong and injustice perpetrated by a callous and insensitive Nigerian state and government under President Obasanjo against the people of the region. But the militancy in the Niger Delta was one for the “emancipation” of the region from economic exploitation and its accompanying injustice. Hence, the name: Movement for the Emancipation of the Niger Delta (MEND). The Niger Delta militants were fighting against the injustice of economic exploitation. It was essentially a protest Movement, not rebellion or secession. The militants of the Niger Delta were not secessionists, separatists, rebels, insurgents or even freedom fighters. It is true that the violence they employed in their fight for emancipation from the injustice of economic exploitation went far beyond what might be said to have been warranted by the wrong done to them by the Nigerian state and government under President Obasanjo. There is no justification for the destruction of oil exploration, production and distribution installations; the kidnapping of oil companies’ workers and the extortion of money as ransom from the companies; the killing of innocent fellow citizens, particularly the killings perpetrated in Port Harcourt and Okrika, and other excesses. Although it might be said, not, of course, in justification or exoneration, that when once a sizeable body of the citizenry of the state has been unjustly deprived of their legitimate entitlement and thereby provoked to resort to militancy to protest their grievances, extremism and excesses in the use of violence can hardly be ruled out. But the state that provoked the situation through its callous, unjust and insensitive action must bear a large part of the blame for what happened in the Niger Delta. Umaru Yar’Adua, on taking over as President from Olusegun Obasanjo in 2007, and well aware of the error and injustice of the latter’s actions, had tried to right the wrong and to assuage the people of the Niger Delta by granting amnesty to the militants. If any mistake was made in President Yar’Adua’s intervention in the Niger Delta, it lies, not in the grant of amnesty itself, which is well justified in the circumstances of the case, but rather in the over-generous package that went with it. I have always felt that the amnesty package overpampers the militants, particularly the aspect of it relating to monetary payments and other financial benefits, which have enabled the socalled “generals” to live an undeserved life of luxury and abundance, setting them unjustifiably apart from the ordinary members of society. (I do not quarrel so much with the training and skill acquisition aspect of the amnesty package.) But come to think of it, one may ask why not, when the architect of all this problem is enjoying the over-abundant luxury and comforts of a hilltop palatial mansion at Abeokuta, Ogun State, a fabulous, expanded and modernised farm at Ota and a multibillion private university adorned with a breath-taking ultra-modern presidential library, all financed, by and large, albeit indirectly, from the oil revenue derived from the littoral oil producing States located principally in the Niger Delta. How far can outrage on justice, including social justice, be carried? We all sit comfortably in our offices, and make noises about the life of luxury being lived by the Niger Delta so-called “Generals”, while the former President flaunts unabashedly before our very eyes enormous wealth acquired by the wrongful use of his office. How far, one may be permitted to ask again, can such outrageous and similar other manifesta-
tions of impunity be allowed to go on unchecked? Pervasive impunity is ranked with corruption by the US state department in its latest country report (April 2013) as among Nigeria’s greatest problem. Having said this, I, nonetheless, agree that the over-generous amnesty package granted to the Niger Delta militants is rightly described as a “reward for criminality” and an “incentive for insurgency.” In the light of what is said above about the origins of the crisis in the Niger Delta and the militancy it gave rise to, it is not quite true or fair to say that the militants “were armed by politicians who used them for nefarious electoral battles and dumped them thereafter.” Militancy and militants do not spring into existence on their own; it requires a lot of organising and mobilising to galvanise people into action, and funding, too. It is here that the politicians come in; it is they who did the necessary organising, mobilising and galvanising, and provided the funding needed. Perhaps, the most prominent of the politicians for this purpose is Diepreye Alamieyeseigha, the self-proclaimed Governor-General of the Ijaw nation. For his role in spearheading the militancy in the Niger Delta, he was disgraced and humiliated at the instance of President Obasanjo by being handcuffed inside a plane at Heathrow Airport, London, in the full view of other passengers, and subsequently removed from office as Governor of Bayelsa State, through a kangaroo impeachment process, ostensibly for corruption, but in reality for his role in galvanising the Ijaw youths of the Niger Delta for militant action in furtherance of resource control. The pardon recently granted to him, he tells us, had been initiated, not by President Goodluck Jonathan, but by the same President Yar’Adua as part of a deal that “required him to deliver on peace in the Niger Delta by convincing the militants to accept the… amnesty programme.” And he has ever since, according to him, been performing his own part of the deal. Niger Delta militancy distinguished from the Boko Haram insurgency We should now take a look at the Boko Haram Islamic sect to see whether they and the Niger Delta militants belong together in the same category, with no differences of any kind between them, and to consider the applicability in the circumstances of the saying: “what is sauce for the goose should be sauce for the gander” — per Gbenga Aluko. A preliminary observation, by way of explication, must be made at the outset. All crimes, including assault by one person on another person, are criminal offences against the state; hence, prosecution for all crimes of whatever kind and pardons for them are the prerogative of the state. But “levying war against the state” is not just a crime like any other crime; it is a term with a definite legal meaning; it means rebellion or insurgency. It is, therefore, a misconception to say that, by the criminal acts they committed, atrocious as those acts were, the Niger Delta militants “levied war against the Nigerian State.” They have done no such thing. Now, the differences between the two groups! First, unlike the Niger Delta militants, the Boko Haram religious sect did not originate as a protest Movement provoked into action by any wrong or injustice done to them or their community by the state, although one Abubakar Shekau, described as the sect’s “purported head,” had talked in vague and non-specific terms about “perceived injustice” done to his community and about the Federal Government killing many Muslims. But it appears that Boko Haram is simply a group directed from outside Nigeria by the world’s largest religious terror organisation, Al Qaeda, which is the group’s major financial backer.
Second, the Boko Haram sect members, again unlike the Niger Delta militants, are insurgents in the true sense of the word; they have avowed themselves as being in armed revolt or rebellion against the Nigerian State and its Constitution. Repudiating the provision in section 14(1) of our Constitution that, “the Federal Republic of Nigeria shall be a State based on the principles of democracy and social justice,” they affirm in unequivocal terms that they recognise neither “democracy as a form of government,” nor the concept of social justice, nor the secularity of the state, as ordained in section 10 of the Constitution, and that “Western education is sin.” Their agenda epitomises uncompromising religious radicalism and fanaticism, viz, the islamisation of the entire North as a Muslim state, with the Quran and the Sharia as the fundamental code of law, and theocracy (not democracy) as the form of government — i.e., rule by a Muslim spiritual leader claiming to be divinely directed. They are, thus, unequivocal in their secessionist bid, which, at once, draws a clear, unmistakable dividing line between them and the Niger Delta militants; the distinction is between secession, rebellion or insurgency on the one hand and militancy on the other hand, albeit one involving extreme violence, even of terroristic proportions. In view of this, I frankly consider it an insult to our intelligence and sensibilities as a nation, for anyone to begin to compare the position in law of the Niger Delta militants and that of the Boko Haram insurgents, notwithstanding the similarity of the violent actions employed in both cases. Third, I do not think that President Goodluck Jonathan is really far from the truth in describing the Boko Haram sect as a “faceless” group, in the sense that it is a clandestine group the identity of whose members is hidden from the public; no one really knows who and who are its leaders and members, unlike the Niger Delta militants whose so-called “Generals” are not only well-known but notorious — Ateke Tom, Asari Dokubo, Government Ekpemupolo (alias Tompolo), John Togo, etc. The National Human Rights Commission (NHRC) describes them as “unknown persons.” Whilst amnesty, i.e., general, wholesale pardon granted to a group or to a specified class or a community of unidentified persons, as distinct from a pardon to an identified individual, is recognised under the Constitution of the United States to be within the constitutional power of the President to grant, just as the grant of a pardon to an identified individual, and has been affirmed by the U.S. Supreme Court decision in United States v. Klein, 13 Wall (80 U.S) 128, 147 (1872)), as attested by the amnesty granted by Presidents George Washington in 1795, John Adams in 1800, James Madison in 1815, Abraham Lincoln in 1863, Johnson in 1865, 1867 and 1868 (following from the civil war), and by Theodore Roosevelt in 1902, yet it is open to doubt whether, under the Nigerian Constitution, amnesty is properly grantable to a clandestine sect or group. For, whereas the relevant provision in the U.S. Constitution is couched in broad terms, viz, the President “shall have power to grant reprieves and pardons for offences against the United States, except in cases of impeachment,” article 2, section 2, the provision in the Nigerian Constitution, so far as material, is specific in its wording: “the President may grant any person concerned with or convicted of any offence created by an Act of the National Assembly a pardon, either free or subject to lawful conditions” (emphasis supplied) — section 175(1). Although under
the Interpretation Act, the singular includes the plural, the word person (which is absent in the U.S. Constitution) contemplates and refers to an identified or identifiable person(s), not a clandestine sect whose members and leaders are not known or identifiable to the public. Thus, if amnesty under section 175(1) of the Constitution is ever to be granted at all to Boko Haram, then their members must first come into the open, make themselves known, accept a ceasefire, surrender their arms and swear an oath of allegiance to the Constitution. There should be no amnesty package for them, as there is no basis or reason for it, unlike in the case of the Niger Delta militants although, as earlier stated, the amnesty package in the latter case is overgenerous. Be that as it may, the Boko Haram sect say they are not accepting the amnesty offer, if and when eventually the offer is made. This raises a rather interesting constitutional issue, as to whether a pardon or amnesty requires acceptance or consent by the person to whom it is granted in order to take effect. The position taken by the U.S. Supreme Court on the issue is that a pardon or amnesty cannot take effect unless and until it is accepted by the person(s) to whom it is granted (United States v. Wilson, 7 Pet (32 U.S.) 150, 160 – 161 (1823)), but that such acceptance is dispensed with in a case where a death penalty is commuted to imprisonment, on the ground that commutation is “the determination of the ultimate authority that the public welfare will be better served by inflicting less than what the judgment fixed”: Biddle v. Perovich, 247 U.S. 480, 486 (1927). It has not been decided what the effect of this exception, i.e., in respect of commutation of a penalty (not necessarily a death penalty) to a lesser one, is on the general principle that acceptance is essential to the coming into effect of a pardon, which seems to remain the law on the point. It must be acknowledged that the Niger Delta militants and Boko Haram sect members share in common one fact: they are both criminals and outlaws, although the criminal offences committed by the Niger Delta militants do not include “levying war against the Nigerian State,” which is rebellion or insurgency. They both also come within the coverage of the term “terrorists”, as the term is defined in section 1 of the Terrorism (Prevention) Act 2011. Of course, the Niger Delta militants are no longer to be regarded as criminals or outlaws, given that, as held by the U.S. Supreme Court in the celebrated civil war case of Ex parte Garland, 4 Wall (71 U.S.) 333, 381 (1867), pardon or amnesty “reaches both the punishment prescribed for the offence and the guilt of the offender; and when the pardon is full, it releases the punishment and blots out of existence the guilt, so that in the eyes of the law, the offender is as innocent as if he had never committed the offence.” The grant of amnesty to the Boko Haram sect will also put them in the same position where their guilt for killing some 3,000 innocent people since 2009 will have been blotted out of existence so completely as if they had not committed the offence, while the families of the innocent victims are left uncompensated for their loss. That would be justice in its classic but meaningless Nigerian form — all in the name of, hopefully, inducing the Boko Haram insurgents or rebels to accept peace, which will have been bought at a price of sowing the seed of similar insurgency or rebellion in some other parts of the country, and which, at that price, will be well guaranteed to make peace continue to elude us. CONCLUDED • Professor Nwabueze (SAN) is constitutional lawyer and Leader of The Patriots.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
TheMetroSection Kingpins in Bamigbetan’s kidnap flee to Ghana • Manko parade six suspected kidnappers in Lagos By Odita Sunday HE Lagos State Police Command yesterday revealed that three out of the four suspects that allegedly kidnapped the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan, have fled to neighbouring Republic of Ghana. The command has, however, extended their dragnet to Ghana with a view to working in conjunction with the country’s intelligence network to intercept the suspected criminals. The Guardian gathered that the kidnappers fled to Ghana after one of their gang members simply identified as “Soldier” jumped to his death from a one-storey hotel room where they lodged on sighting policemen who had come to arrest him. While parading a six-man gang of kidnappers who were arrested by the men of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), led by the Commander, Mr. Abba Kyari, a Superintendent of Police, the Commissioner of Police Lagos State Command, Mr. Abubakar Umar Manko said the police would not rest in its effort until all perpetrators of kidnapping in Lagos State are rounded-up despite the barrier of borders. The paraded suspects were identified as Solomon Eze aka ‘Pastor’, Ikechukwu Chedom, Sunday James and Obinna Ebugha. Others were Christian Ezinkwo and Emmanuel Iloakazi. The gang leader, one Victor Emmanuel, is said to be currently at large. The police recovered some arms and ammunition from them including three AK-47 rifles, 11 AK-47 magazines fully loaded with 30 rounds of live ammunition each. Manko said: “While I agree that there have been a few cases of kidnapping in recent times, I don’t believe they are on the rampage and, as usual, when we face challenges, we find a way to tackle it. We have gone after the kid-
ALVARY Generation Baptist C Church, Abule Egba will from Sunday, April 28 to Thursday, May 2, begin its year open air programme tagged The Storm That Touched No One. The Pastor in charge, Rev Adediran Adeniji, says the programme is aimed at reaching out to the community to further appreciate the power of God . The Conference President, Lagos West Baptist Conference, Rev Julius Adeniji, Evang. Agboola will minister.
Majorie , 93, for burial ADAM Ezinne Majorie M Chiyemugo Keshi, mother of the former envoy to United States of America (USA), Amb. Joe Keshi, who died at the age of 93, will be buried today after a Requiem Mass at St Martin’s de tours, Igbodo, Ika Local Council of Delta State. There will be a thanksgiving service on Sunday at the same church.
The suspected kidnappers nappers in the state and we have started recording progress. During investigation, we discovered that these kidnappers that we arrested migrated from the East and we have identified their camps at Ikorodu. “But unfortunately, when we got there, none of the victims was there but we recovered two AK47rifles and 11 magazines fully loaded with 30 rounds of ammunition.” “One of the suspects, Solomon Eze was traced by Kyari and his team to a hideout in Ajegunle where he was arrested. It was his statement that led to the arrest of other members of the gang at Ikorodu,” he added One of the suspects, 29-year-old James Eze, an Ebonyi State indi-
gene, admitted to participating in the different kidnap operations the gang carried out since February. The suspect said: “I was introduced to the job by Victor Emmanuel who is our leader. In January, he called me and told me that he has found a place in Ibeju Lekki, where we would keep our victims. We set up the place and began kidnapping in February and successfully carried out four operations. The first and second operations, we made N1million each and I got N100, 000 as my share but we made N2million in the third and fourth operations.” Eze further added: “Our the gang was formed in January after one of our members, Victor Emanuel, who also introduced me into the business rented an apartment where we can be taking vic-
tims to demand for ransom. The house is somewhere around IbejuLekki. We started kidnapping business in Lagos in February, since then , we have kidnapped four victims. The first victim fetched us N1million, Victor took N200, 000 out of the money because he rented the apartment where we keep the victims, and gave the rest of us N600, 000 to share. I got N100, 000 out of it the deal. The second one paid us N1.8million. We bought a jeep at N1.5million and we shared the remaining N500, 000 out of which I got N750, 000. If we are driving on the road and we sight any flashy car, we will quickly go after the car, overtake and kidnap the owner. We don’t take the car, because we don’t have need for it.”
Lawmakers propose education for council chairmen, councillors By Wole Oyebade ORRIED by the incessant power tussle between the executive and legislative arms of government at the Local Governments (LGs) and Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in the state, the Lagos House of Assembly is proposing political education for Council Chairmen and their Councilors. Such education, according to the lawmakers, is to enlighten the political office holders of their statutory functions and limitations in a democracy, an ignorance of which the House blamed for crises in the LGAs/LCDAs. The matter was brought to the floor of the House on Monday, as the lawmakers condemned the “flagrant
abuse of power” by the Oshodi/Isolo LGA Chairman amidst the ongoing crises at the council. Councilors at the LGA had in a petition called the attention of the Assembly to the “violent invasion of the Oshodi/Isolo legislative council by loyalists of the Chairman, to attack and molest Council lawmaker.” According to the petition read on the floor of the House, mayhem was unleashed on the Councilors barely two hours after they impeached their Speaker and elected a new helmsman at a plenary on April 15, 2013. The hoodlums allegedly inflicted injuries and shut the Council Chamber. The former Speaker, Hon. Shobayo Azeez Abolore was
impeached for “his inexperience on legislative matters, insensitivity to the welfare of the councilors and refusal to approve resolutions of the House.” The petition followed another case before the House, where Ikorodu West LCDA Chairman allegedly issued queries to Councilors, giving them 24-hour ultimatum to reply. Reacting to the petition, the lawmaker representing Oshodi/Isolo I, Lawrence Ayeni, confirmed the incident, adding that the crisis had started three months ago. He said all efforts to restore peace had been abortive. Lawmaker representative Ikorodu I, Sanni Agunbiade urged the House to give the petition a serious considera-
tion, adding that the rate at which the Chairmen were interfering in Legislative matters was undemocratic and quite alarming. His colleague representing, Shomolu I, Rotimi Olowo suggested that the House tutor the LGAs/LCDAs Chairmen, “not to see the legislative arm as an annex of the executive.” “They should be tutored on where their power starts and ends in a democratic setting.” Olowo said the gesture would be in the interest of public peace and image of their political party - Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN). Apparently in agreement with Olowo, Speaker of the House, Adeyemi Ikuforiji said the conducts of “our operators at the local level”
could not be faulted because “they are not educated enough.” “Education here is not about going to secondary or tertiary institution, but on democracy and functions expected of arms of government. “If they are educated, no Chairman will issue query to councilors. And if Councilors too are educated, they will not impeach their Chairman within 15 minutes. “We indeed have a lot of problem on our hand than we can immediately handle here,” he said. The matter was, however, delegated to the House Committee on Administration and Local Government Matters to address this week.
Lagos, NRC collaborate on train security • To curb hanging on moving trains
By Kamal Tayo Oropo AGOS State Government is partnering the management of the Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) towards better security and to curb the menace of passengers hanging on trains in the state. The State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who met with the management of the Rail Authority in Ikeja yesterday, said the partnership would aim at tackling all issues that pose security challenges along the various rail routes. Opeifa listed such challenges to include incessant hanging of passengers on the train, street trading on
Briefs Church begins crusade
the rail lines as well as inside the trains and encroachment by members of road transport workers on the rail line. According to him: “We have been fully briefed and you need to appreciate the fact that we don’t want people to hang on the train. We have also learnt from the Railway Police Command that these people who hang on the train are tough and they also avoid arrest.” He said the government was also mindful of how the railway police carry out enforcement on these issues in order to avoid fatalities, stressing that all the stakeholders involved would be mobilised to ensure that the issue is brought to an end. He appealed to those that hang on the trains to de-
sist from doing so and find a place inside the train to seat, stressing that if there are not enough seats in the train they can wait for the next turn or join the available bus to their destination. Opeifa said, as a result of this situation, government had to increase the number of buses on the LagosAbeokuta road in order to meet the people’s need. Managing Director of NRC, Adeseyi Sijuwade, who led the delegation to Alausa, said it was important to address the security and safety situation on the rail routes, as the management “is poised on improving rail transportation in the state.’ He said a total of 16 trips were carried out on a daily basis and five trips on Saturday in Lagos area alone.
Ogunsanya, 78, for burial HE final burial ceremony of T Pa Joseph Abayomi Ogunsanya a.k.a Gboran at the age of 78, holds tomorrow at Italupe-Ijebu-Ode, Ogun State at 11.00a.m. after a funeral service at Emmanuel Anglican Church, Ijebu-Ode. A Christian wake holds today at 27, Okesuna Street, Ijebu-Ode from 5.00-6.00pm. He is survived by his wife, children and grand children. Guests will be entertained at Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), opposite Idobi Garage.
Cadbury introduces Tang, thrillrs kids at Family Day FIRM, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, A has introduced Tang to the Nigerian market. The brand was officially launched at a special Tang Media Family Fun Day in Ikoyi, Lagos. The Managing Director, Cadbury Nigeria Plc, Emil Moskofian, said: "Tang is a fruit-flavored powdered beverage made from a 100 percent natural flavour base and formulated to include many Vitamins A, B, C and minerals. The Tang Family Fun Day was well attended by parents and their kids who experienced their first sips of Tang. The kids were treated to thrilling games, fanfare and lots of fun. They also had the chance to win exciting Tang branded gift items in diverse fun activities. In addition, hip-hop sensation, Olamide was present to entertain the guests. Speaking at the Fun Day event, Bunmi Adeniba, Cadbury Nigeria's Brand Manager (Tang), said, "Tang comes in three exciting flavours, orange, apple and pineapple.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Chief Executive Officer, Mibod Global Resources Ltd., Chantel Joseph (left), Ms. Abiola Okoya, wife of Cross River State Governor, Mrs. Obioma Liyel-Imoke, Chief Executive Officer, Star Crest Group, Mrs. Fifi Ejindu and President/Chief Executive Officer of M and M Dyson, Marcia L. Dyson at second International Conference on African Women Empowerment in Paris, France…
Mrs. Adedoyin Laja of Heart of God Children Hospice (left), Chief Operating Officer, Broadcasting, Evita Moussalli, Group Managing Director of AIM Group, Mr. Amin Moussalli presenting a cheque of N1 million as donation to the children hospice during Cool FM Praise Jam.
Couple docked for allegedly selling their twins From Hendrix Oliomogbe, Asaba OR allegedly selling their set of twins for about N400, 000 to a woman, an Asaba Chief Magistrate’s Court yesterday remanded a couple, Mr. and Mrs. Augustine Agbona in prison custody. While the husband was remanded in Ogwashi-Uku, Aniocha South Council Prisons, his wife, Ebele was remanded in Agbor Prisons by the court. The couple allegedly sold the infants to a lady simply identified as Okogwu, who is based in Lagos. They are being tried along with two other accused, Okolie and Ebere who
Disaster Relief Committee Chairman, Past President, Aderemi Ajose, presenting a first-aid box and a volunteer’s apron to the District Governor, Rotary District 9110, Kamoru Omotosho during the dsaster management training for volunteers organised by the Rotary District 9110 ...
National President BCPG, Mr Kunle Awobodu(left), Director General, Standard Organisation of Nigeria(SON), Dr Joseph Odumodu and Director, Special Duties, SON, George Okeke at the courtesy visit of BCPB to SON in Lagos... Wednesday PHOTO; SUNDAY AKINLOLU
members of the Asaba Community Police who handed them over to the police for further investigation. The Delta State Police Public Relations Officer, Mr. Lucky Uyabeme explained that the couple told the police of the involvement of the other suspects after they were arrested, leading to their arrest and arraignment in court. Uyabeme added that the babies, who were recovered from the alleged buyer, have been handed over to the Ministry of Women Affairs and Social Welfare in Asaba for proper care. The court adjourned the matter to May 16.
Our mother taught us to put God first, say Olayinka’s children From Muyiwa Adeyemi, Ado Ekiti HE children of the late Deputy Governor of Ekiti State, Mrs Funmilayo Olayinka, yesterday said the greatest lesson they learnt from their mother was to put God first in everything they wanted to do because “she would also not leave her bed room in the morning without praying”. Paying tribute to their mother in Ado Ekiti yesterday, the eldest daughter of the late deputy governor Miss Yeside Olayinka said that her mother had absolute faith in God that she taught them to always do the same before sitting for any examination. Yeside, who spoke on behalf of other siblings, described her as a mother in a million and a very caring one who could go extra-miles to solve the problems of whoever was close to her while she was still alive. According to her: “We re-
Representative of Bekool & Associates Ltd., Chief V. E. Uloko (left), first indigenous Managing Director of Schlumberger, Mr. Celestine Cliff ; Regional Head of SME, Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria, Mrs. Ebi Momoh and Chief Patrick Osunu of Patos Multilink Limited during a Business Parley organised by Standard Chartered Bank for Shell Nigeria Limited vendors in Port Harcourt…
were said to have facilitated the deal. Okolie, an employee of the Welfare Department in the state Ministry of Women Affairs and Ebere who lives in Ogwashi-Uku, about 15 minutes drive from Asaba, were granted bail after meeting the conditions, the Magistrate ordered that the couple should be remanded in prison custody after failing to meet bail demands. Ebele was recently delivered of the set of twins (a boy and a girl) at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Asaba but allegedly sold them in connivance with her husband. They were apprehended by
membered how our mother strove to ensure that we were brought up in a Christian way. She used to anoint us every morning before going to school and sought God’s guidance and protection for us on daily basis”. “My mother was amazingly intelligent. She believed that she could walk through the sea in solving problems with intention that she would
not get drowned. She was compassionate, loving, caring and had ready-made answers to all knotty situations, especially when we have any challenge. We will sorely miss her,” she reminisced. She said that they have solace in the fact that their mother lived a worthy life, having touched the lives of many people in a positive way.
Brief Omawumi leads campaign against malaria IGERIA’S musician and Mortein Brand Spokesperson, N Omawumi Megbele, has strengthened Reckitt Benckiserbacked Africa anti-malaria initiative with a call on governments, institutions and relevant stakeholders to join hands in the ongoing global effort to stamp out malaria in Africa. Omawumi, who was on her second advocacy campaign for the eradication of malaria scourge in Africa to Nairobi, the Kenya capital, at the weekend, expressed concern that although malaria remained one of the common causes of death, it was preventable if stakeholders could join hands. The initiative was facilitated by Reckitt Benckiser’s Mortein insecticide brand. Reckitt Benckiser Country Manager, Mr. Richard Pereira, said the initiative demonstrated the company’s commitment to helping people to live a healthy and active life thereby empowering them to live a fulfilled life. “
Children of the late Chairman of Oasis Insurance Plc., Dr. Kikelemo Adegbite, Mrs. Funmi Wale Adegbite and Mr. Wale Adegbite at the service of songs in Ibadan...
14 | THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
TheGuardian Conscience Nurtured by Truth
FOUNDER: ALEX U. IBRU (1945 – 2011)
Conscience is an open wound; only truth can heal it. Uthman dan Fodio 1754-1816
Editorial Where are the jobs?
WAEC and exams questions leakage
ECENT alarms raised by many, including former President Olusegun S R Obasanjo, over the rate of unemployment in Nigeria may have sounded trite, but as with all things trite, they had a ring of established truth. Unemployment has scaled alarming levels to compel the declaration of a national emergency. At the last count, about 42 million youths are reportedly unemployed. There is certainly an urgent need to emphasize job creation in private and public sectors. At present, there is no strategic agenda for this within a blanket National Development Plan, which is always long term, with minimum spans of successive 10 years, based on demography. And this is a sad commentary on the vision or lack of one on the part of Nigerian leaders. Nigeria has 156 universities. Where are the jobs for the products of these schools? The severity of unemployment was illustrated recently when the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) advertised 15,000 vacancies and received 800,000 applications. Job creation, of course, is not the responsibility of government alone. However, in recent times, reports of the National Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture (NACCIMA) reveal that little or no production now takes place in Nigeria. High costs of providing their own utilities (electricity and water) have driven most manufacturing companies away from Nigeria to neighbouring West African countries. In Kaduna and Kano, the commercial centres of the north, and in Lagos, most factories are dead. And to illustrate the visionlessness embedded in governance, how much of the Federal Budget of N4 trillion, is for job creation? Budgets must set targets of job creation. If unemployment would be successfully tackled, all government budgets must include specific plans on actual jobs to be created in each successive financial year, with state and local councils focusing on areas of comparative advantage, especially agriculture. It is a cliché of development that government must provide the enabling environment, namely security, infrastructure and a package of incentives, for prosperity to find home in the society. Despite their talk of free market economy, the United States and President Obama ensured that, at the height of the economic recession, the United States government pumped in money to save major companies like General Motors, to save jobs. As Prime Minister of Great Britain, Gordon Brown initiated what he called “Britain of Enterprise;” assisting young innovators and entrepreneurs with Seed Money. The rationale being that a large pool of successful entrepreneurs will employ more people and expand the base of the nation’s middle-class. To create massive jobs, other countries also decided to build infrastructure, especially roads. This always has a multiple job creation effect. In historic times, Egypt put people to work to build pyramids. In recent times, Brazil, China and India moved large percentage of their people up from poverty through investment in infrastructure. Nigeria’s peculiar type of politics is also inimical to development. In 2003, a particular state government set up an Agency for Employment Generation. An army of the unemployed were then trained in agricultural and commercial ventures. Based on experience of diversion of funds, takeoff capital was not handed directly to successful trainees but was processed through a Multipurpose Credit Agency, which demanded proper collaterals to ensure repayment. It was a success, but alas the programme was abandoned once another political party took over in the state. This is typical of how the overall goal of development is sacrificed on the altar of partisan politics, along with the irresponsibility of people in power. Of course, Nigeria must also be concerned about the unemployable: the large number of people with certificates but no skills. This calls for emphasis on functional education, the type that can breed a skillful workforce capable of real productivity. It is well known for instance, that in the housing industry, tilers, and other specialists are often sourced from other countries in the ECOWAS region where the technical education system still thrives. There is also evidence of successful programmes in the attempts to reduce poverty that the nation may wish to copy. A particular plan based on helping artisans, market traders, move to higher level of commercial activity with loans provided through and monitored by the Trade Groups has been one of such. Peer influence guarantees loan repayment and ensures facility is efficiently utilized for the specific business. This is a template the nation may wish to adopt and implement with seriousness. A Ministry of Job Creation and Poverty Reduction is also not out of place in a nation where 55 per cent live below poverty line, according to Human Development Report of 2013. The government’s current approach of handing out cash, as is being done with SURE-P, tainted by its linkage to political patronage, is a waste of funds. The crisis of unemployment deserves a bold policy initiative by the President. It demands urgent action in order to abort a ticking time bomb with its ominous dire consequences.
IR: I write to draw the atten- practice incited some efforts by provider that aids examination tion of the public and major the source of this information. malpractice by leaking examiThe said source took time out nation questions (apart from stakeholders to the spate of to visit the national headquar- the Facebook page in question). examination malpractices, He also showed me a document ters of the West African which has taken another Examinations Council (WAEC) containing that fact. “The securialarming dimension: the social media leakage of exami- in Yaba, Lagos. Hear from the ty agencies are aware but they nation questions before sched- horse’s mouth: “At the WAEC wait for WAEC to pay them office today (April 16, 2013), the before they do investigations uled time of writing the CSO received me warmly when and bring perpetrators to book. papers. My attention was drawn by a friend to a group he heard what brought me to Meanwhile, WAEC cannot dish on Facebook social media that the office. I told him everything out money without due process: leaks real examination ques- and even opened the page on An arrangement that does not tion papers hours before the Facebook so that he might see favour the SSS.” paper is written. This is hap- for himself. Co-incidentally, the From the above statement of physics questions and answer the official, it is obvious that the pening as I write and members of the said page (whose for that day were already post- issue of examination malpraced by the administrator of the tices cum leakage of questions, name, I would not want to like a malignant cancer that publicly give, unless expressly page.” defies the efforts of chemotherarequested for by this newspa- The CSO was not really per) are getting undue advan- shocked because he admitted pists, has been a major challenge for the regional examinatage over others writing the that: There are bad eggs in same examination with them. WAEC, who against the security tion body. Where is, then, the As if releasing the questions measures in the strong room academic integrity needed to where they package examina- earn us respect when our stuto students is not criminal enough, the administrators of tion questions in the midnight dents present their WAEC before the paper is done, still results for international admisthis medium also provide sions? sneak out with copies for standard answers to members, hours before they write unscrupulous purposes. There • Joshua Oyeniyi, Lagos. the examinations. This ugly is another dishonest service
Religion and morality with financial gain, yet many IR: I read an article by Rev. Fr. agree with the Rev Father. Our society is full of contradic- of their men are on the road SNigerian Ehusani on “Easter and the tions when it comes to religious harassing the common citizen society” which
appeared on Monday, April 1, 2013. A statement in the article caught my attention, he wrote “In the midst of widespread criminality and corruption that thrive side by side with a vibrant display of religiosity in our land – Easter challenges Nigerians to take a close look at our social morality that is clearly at variance with our robust religious enterprise. The contradiction is a major source of embarrassment to our nation, and thoughtful Nigerians must spare some moments during this season to reflect upon it.” Yes I gave a thought to it and
display. You will see school teachers in both public and private schools all in their religious outlook yet helping pupils in their external examinations just because they want their school to come out with good results. You will see Christian society leaders with pious posture dipping their hand into public fund for their personal use. You will see so called Christian mothers openly using their teeth to open alcoholic drinks and gulping them in front of the children. Many senior police officers often claimed not to have been bribed or induced
without any serious reprimand from the top. Who sent them? Yet they are all good members of their religious groups. The Aso Rock chapel is always filled yet our leaders come out from there to do the wrong things. It is becoming obvious that most people see church or mosque attendance more for social networking. People care less about Heaven or Hell, as long as they are in a comfort zone here on earth no matter the means. We need to change. • Ifechukwu Ukwuegbu, Lagos.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
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KIA unveils third-generation Cerato sedan
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Govt targets five million jobs by 2015 INISTER of Trade and M Investment, Olusegun Aganga, yesterday, expressed Federal Government commitment towards creating at least five million jobs by 2015. Aganga, who stated this in Ibadan, Oyo State at the opening of the 6th National Council on Industry, Trade and Investment, said the feat would be achieved through industrialisation in the country. According to him, the economic transformation of the country requires the support and contributions of every Nigerian. The Minister said the nation had in recent time, become the number one investment destination in Africa, saying the country had grown by seven per cent in the last 14 years. He said that Nigeria was now the number one destination for investment in Africa. ``Now with that level of investment, we have received a lot of interest from different countries. Unprecedented level of delegations and investments had trade missions to Nigeria than we have ever had in our history. ``The President of Indonesia was here with 100 businessmen a few weeks ago and before then the President of Brazil with another 50 businessmen. The Poland President came not too long ago and said his feelings about Nigeria has not been this higher. I think it is time to do something in Nigeria,’’ he said. The minister said the ongoing efforts of the government was to provide institutions that would drive industrialisation, adding that the nation was now less dependent on imported goods. ``For the first time as the Minister, I have not issued any licence for the importation of cement and some other major commodities. For decades, we rely solely on oil and gas, but now government has made the diversifiCONTINUED ON PAGE 16
Group Managing Director/Chief Executive Officer, Guaranty Trust Bank (GTB) Segun Agbaje (left); Chairman, Oluwole Oduyemi; and Company Secretary, Olutola Omotola at the 23rd yearly general meeting of the Bank in Lagos, yesterday. PHOTO: FEMI ADBESIN-KUTI
Globacom, Huawei seal $750 million telecoms infrastructure upgrade deal By Adeyemi Adepetun NOTHER $750 million (N119 billion) telecommunications infrastructure upgrade and expansion deal has been sealed between Nigeria’s Globacom and Chinese telecoms infrastructure provider—Huawei. The Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), which was signed by the two companies in Lagos, yesterday, will see Huawei provide upgrades among others, to all telecommunications infrastructure belonging to Globacom in Nigeria. This is coming two-days after another telecommunications service provider sealed a N470 billion loan
syndication agreement with some banks, to also upgrade and expand its telecoms infrastructure in the country. Industry analysts believe that the various investments would bolster Nigeria’s $25 billion telecommunications sector. Indeed, at the MoU signing ceremony of the N119 billion, Globacom’s Chief Operating Officer, Muhammed Jameel, said the new deal will enable the telecommunications firm embark on a holistic overhaul of its network with a view to providing better services to its over 25 million telecoms subscribers across the country. Jameel, said for the past
two months, Globacom had been shopping for a vendor to help in modernising its network, saying that Huawei has been found to be a preferred vendor for the contract. "In preparation for our 10th year anniversary in Nigeria, we have decided to concentrate on upgrading our network with the latest technology, which can provide a bullish network that can provide better services to our customers." Describing the contract detail, the Globacom’s COO explained that the contract would see Huawei upgrade every element of the network, ranging from Base
Transceiver Stations (BTS), Mobile Switching Centers (MSC), and transmission infrastructures among others. He stressed that there would be total modernisation, which will enable the network to provide worldclass services to its growing subscribers. "In the contract, new BTS, new microwave radio facilities, MSC will be upgraded to a latest one. It will also include back-hauling of the total network with a view to delivering a total network with most modern equipment", he stated. According to him, by the end 2013, "We would have
had everything upgraded to latest technology. We are upgrading the transport network from 10gigabytes to 100 gigabytes. This will enable more data services." Jameel, who disclosed that Huawei is expected to complete the various facilities upgrade within six months, assured subscribers on the network that there would not be service disruptions within the period. He described Huawei as a competent and respectable telecoms infrastructures provider capable of delivering the contract assignment. "The $750 million contract will translate into upgrading CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
PPPRA lists benefits of deregulation in downstream sector By Roseline Okere ETROLEUM Product Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA) has advocated the deregulation of the downstream sector of the country’s oil and gas sector. Executive Secretary of the agency, Reginald Stanley, said that deregulation policy if carefully implemented would stimulate economic growth and social wellbeing of the populace.
He noted that the opportunities and benefits outweigh the short-run cost of discomforts. According to him, “it is however instructive to note that deregulation without regulatory controls leads to the development of anti-competitive practices and proffering of operators”. He said that sustaining the tempo of reforming the administration of subsidy scheme was germane to the
sustainability of Nigeria’s downstream sector. He explained: “Regulators therefore are ‘watchmen’ making and implementing policies to prevent consumers from being shortchanged and ensure that operators are adequately restituted. Regulators also ensure that there is a level playing ground for all genuine operators. The industry reforms present the PPPRA with great challenges and
activities, all in a bid to carry out its statutory mandate”. He said that the agency looks forward to taking up additional responsibilities, courtesy of the Petroleum Industry Bill, which is awaiting legislative passage. He added: “The PPPRA intends to continue promoting greater investment by all the stakeholders in the downstream petroleum oil sub-sector as it has been repositioned
to be investor friendly and relatively deregulated. “The ultimate goal is to make the sector self-financing and self-sustaining to support a more robust national economy”. Stanley added that the agency has introduced various initiatives to prevent future subsidy scam in the petroleum industry, adding that the agency has also introduce 3-3-2 structure to engage
independent inspectors to validate vessel arrival, discharge into shore tanks and truck-outs from the storage deport that are received from the vessel. Besides, he said that the agency has also banned cargo from storage tanks in West African coasts except from refineries, as part of measures to eliminate round tripping. He stated: “We now also CONTINUED ON PAGE 16
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Kaduna to revive moribund firms From Saxone Akhaine, Northern Bureau Chief ADUNA State government may have concluded plans to revive moribund companies acquired by the State through the PublicPrivate Partnership scheme. The State Governor, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, who unfolded the plans recently, at a meeting with Youth Leaders of Zone 1 as part of a two-day security and peace building forum held in Zaria, pointed out that past attempts to privatise state owned companies
like the Ikara Tomatoes Company, Ginger Processing Company in Kachia, Zaria Pharmaceuticals Company and the Sugar Company in Makarfi proved abortive because the factories were not in operation. He remarked that the State government favoured the option of partnership with private companies or individuals to revive the companies in order to maintain some level of control and also ensure optimum utilization, which according to him, will lead to job cre-
ation for the teaming unemployed youths in the state. Yero however urged private investors that are interested in the companies to come forward and negotiate terms with the state government “in order to jointly own and revive operations of the companies”. He said: “Government is already in talks with a private company that has expressed readiness to build a tomato processing factory in the State, with a view to working out modalities towards reviving the
Glo, Huawei seal deal on infrastructure upgrade CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 of all the network elements and covers the cost from the time the project will start till the time it will be comissioned," he said. In his comments, the Vice President, Huawei West Africa, David Fan, said: "We find it a great honour to sign the contract. The two companies are similar. Glo is from Nigeria, which is an emerg-
ing market in Africa while Huwaei is also from an emerging market in China. "We are, therefore, pleased to receive the contract and by the time we finish the network upgrading, we would have also made Globacom network ready for Long Term Evolution technology network. All they need to do is to obtain the licence to provide services on the 4G
network." Meanwhile, the Director, Legal, Globacom, Mrs. Gladys Talabi, reiterated that the intention behind "all of this contract is to provide our subscribers with unlimited possibilities." According to her, network modernization is a continuous process, which would see Globacom increase capacities.
Govt targets five million jobs by 2015 CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 cation of the economy a priority. I am very confident that with each of you working together, the nation would be delivered,’’ he added. Oyo State Commissioner for Industry, Trade and Investments, Adebayo Olagbenro, said that the meeting would strengthen the Federal and State governments to achieve the Transformation Agenda. Olagbenro said that the institutional framework at achieving desirous results of
good governance was being strengthened daily by the state government. He said that the state government had achieved a lot through Public- Private Partnership (PPP) it had with the Bank of Industry, SMEDAN and the South West integration programme. Oyo State Governor, Abiola Ajimobi said that government would ensure that whatever investment it embarked on would mani-
fest in the quality of life of the citizenry. Ajimobi urged government to always take into cognizance the skills of the citizenry employed at all levels rather than placing emphasis on paper qualifications. He said the poor economic growth of the nation could be attributed to superstitious beliefs, attitude of the people and lack of continuity in government.
PPPRA seeks deregulation of downstream sector CONTINUED FROM PAGE 15 require banks to validate sales with bank statements for third party discharge. We also engage in pre-qualification of suppliers to ensure that only credible and professional suppliers are engaged in the business. “We have also introduced and ensured the enforcement of the submission of letter of credit, Form M, proforma invoice, certificate of origin of the cargo, Bill of Lading of the
Mother Vessel, certificate of quantity of the Mother Vessel, On-board Arrival Quantity, Remain on Board Quantity after each ship-to-ship transfer, final Remain on Board or Empty Tank Certificate of Mother Vessel”. Stanley added that there has been import documentation and verification checklist to address areas of concern and block possible loopholes and avenue for manipulation by unscrupulous operators.
NCAA certifies seven companies for security services at airports By Chika Goodluck-Ogazi HE Nigerian Civil T Aviation Authority NCAA) has certified seven private security companies to provide aviation security services at the nation’s airports. The companies include, Aviation Logistics and Management Limited, Olasco Company Nigeria Limited, Pathfinders International Security Limited, Planet Resources Limited. Others are Migga Dinns Limited, Checkport Security Nigeria Limited and Phillippe Associates International Limited. Speaking during the presentation of the certificates to the chief executives of the companies in Lagos yesterday, the Acting Director General, Mr. Joyce Daniel Nkemakolam commended the security organizations for pulling through the rigorous process of certification, which was carried out by NCAA Aviation Security Inspectors.
Nkemakolam, who had earlier informed the security operatives that safety and security are most critical to air transport operation all over the world, noting that, the security companies need to deploy their expertise, as they are all aware of the global security threat of which Nigeria is not an exemption. He also reminded the companies of the mandatory Nigerian Legislation and the terms of the National Civil Aviation Security Programme (NCASP) section 10.9.1 for all private security companies working with our airlines at the airports to be registered and granted approval by NCAA. The AG explained that It requires each security company to obtain security clearance from the state security service through the Federal Ministry of Aviation, which will they submit a copy of their security programme to NCAA for assessment.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Tackling cabals in the power sector
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26 , 2013
Overcoming cabals to meet steady Nigerians are in ‘darkness.’ Electricity has continued to be a scarce commodity despite promises of successive governments of uninterrupted power supply. Some stakeholders have laid much of the blame on cabals and saboteurs. President Goodluck Jonathan had on August 26, 2010 launched his government’s “Power Sector Roadmap,” a kind of contract with Nigerians for stable electricity supply. The 2010 plan targeted the generation of 14,000 megawatts (MW) power generation by 2013 and 40,000MW by 2020. Disappointedly, the country currently generates about 4500MWs with no hope that it can generate up to 8000MWs by December 2013. Three years down the line, difficulties in meeting the targets have forced the Presidency to commence review of its plan. Again the new Power Minister is blaming the old cabal. Nigerians are asking, ‘what is truly wrong with the power sector,’ and are praying, ‘let there be light.’ By Emeka Anuforo, Abuja and Isa Abdulsalami-Ahovi, Jos CCUSATIONS and counter accusations have continued to trail the inability of the three tiers of government to provide steady electricity supply to Nigerians. Like in the old, issues and accusations around cabals and saboteurs of the power sector privatization have continued to reverberate. There are also lots of unresolved contentious issues such as severance packages of over 34, 000 electricity workers who would soon be discharged to enable the new owners pay the balance of 75 per cent and take over. Power Minister, Prof. Chinedu Nebo, Chairman, of the Presidential Task Force on Power (PTFP), Engr. Bekinbo Dagogo-Jack, Former Power Minister, Prof. Bart Nnaji, and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, have blamed the inability of successive governments to ‘fix’ the power sector on activities of cabals. Dagogo-Jack had on the sidelines of the signing Summit of the Presidential Power Reform Transaction held at the Banquet Hall of the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Monday, said: “Apart from budgetary appropriation, there are other sources of funding. Government will find a way to resolve it. Much of the activity is supposed to be done secretly. You don’t expect government to go public with its sources of funding. You don’t negotiate with labour on the pages of newspapers because there are too many forces.” The agreements and transactions signed and completed at the Summit included the handover of the payment certificates to the bidders that have successfully paid down the first 25 per cent installment of the purchase price for the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) successor companies. The PTFP Chairman further explained: “Let me share something with you, and I think you
need to go away from here with that. There are a lot of forces that are not interested in this game. Sometimes when we talk about it, you think we are being defensive, but I wish that nature would make it possible that some of you guys will be on this side so that you will know what I am talking about. “There are some people who benefit from the fact that there is no reform, that there is no privatization and they have been benefiting from it for years. So they have more potential to upstage it than the people who are just trying to come inside. So when you go and say you want to discuss labour issues on the pages of newspaper, there are people who will go in there and incense labour to take another position and you wont know how that happens. But suddenly you are very close to closing a deal and you have to start afresh. It is better to be strategic in labour issues, that all I will say.” While Nebo in an exclusive interview with The Guardian drew attention to what he described as powerful cabals who were standing in the way of the reforms. The Power Minister said: “You know that evil forces inhabit human beings and I am sure that you are aware of the fact that the cabals that don’t want the power sector to heal in Nigeria are very powerful. I wouldn’t want to start mentioning them one by one but it is important to remember that there are people who are benefiting from the sufferings of the
masses. There are people who are benefiting from Federal Government’s funds that were supposed to be used to address issues but were not used.” Nnaji had lamented that some people benefiting from the rot in the power sector were fighting hard to derail the implementation of the Federal Government‘s power sector road map. Nnaji, a professor of industrial engineering and former director of Robotics and Automation Laboratory at the University of Massachusetts, United States, went ahead to identify the alleged saboteurs as some electricity workers, electrical contractors and importers of generators. Fashola, at a forum in May last year, said that the crisis rocking the nation’s power sector were caused by some cartels, which he said were undermining the effort directed at fixing the sector. He said: “Some individuals are profiting from lack of electricity, which has continued to hold the nation ransom while stable power continues to remain elusive 50 years after independence.” He was, however, optimistic that the government would overrun the cartel very soon, assuring that the government would soon clamp down on the cartel and give the people electricity. However, former Managing Director of
You know that evil forces inhabit human beings and I am sure that you are aware of the fact that the cabals that don’t want the power sector to heal in Nigeria are very powerful. I wouldn’t want to start mentioning them one by one but it is important to remember that there are people who are benefiting from the sufferings of the masses. There are people who are benefiting from Federal Government’s funds that were supposed to be used to address issues but were not used.
United Bank for Africa, UBA, Tony Elumelu, whose firm was on the consortium that bought the 972 mega-watts capacity Ughelli plant in Delta state, spoke on behalf of the bidding winning generating companies at the Summit. Elumelu called on the Federal Government to quickly resolve the labour severance settlement issues to enable the new owners pay the balance of 75 per cent and take over. Indeed, power generation, transmission, distribution and supply Nigeria have become like the proverbial parable, ‘water, water everywhere but none to drink’, according to a concerned stakeholder. To combat the inefficiencies and in competences in this sector, the Nigerian Government set the stage for the privatization of government owned power utilities by enacting the Electric Power Sector Reform Act, 2005 (the Electric Power Sector Reform Law). The Electric Power Sector Reform Law (EPSRC), signed into Law on March 11th 2005, terminated the existence of the former holding electric power company in Nigeria called National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). The EPSRC, in its introductory Section, requires the registration of the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) PLC to take over the functions, assets, liabilities and staff of NEPA. Section 7 of the Law provides that the Nigerian Electricity Regulatory Commission (NERC) shall issue an interim license to the initial holding company for a period not exceeding eighteen months. Section 8 goes further to require the Government to, within eight months after the registration of the Power Holding Company, through the National Council on Privatization (NCP), register such additional companies who would be responsible for power generation, transmission, trading, distribution and bulk supply and resale of
Electricity grid… the 2010 plan targeted the generation of 14,000 megawatts power generation by 2013 and 40,000MW by 2020. Nigeria currently generates about 4500MWs with no hope that it can generate up to 8000MWs by December.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26 , 2013
electricity target by December 2013 electricity. Attempts were also made in this Law to ensure a transition from NEPA to the initial PHCN and then to the successor private companies. The successor companies are required to apply for a substantive license, within six months of the grant of an interim license, which interim license is only valid for a period not exceeding one year. Subsequently, the successor companies are required by Section 24 of the Electric Power Law to be privatized by the NCP in accordance with the provisions of the Public Enterprises (Privatization and Commercialization) Act. Many years after the EPSR, many of the key deliverables for the reform agenda are still behind the anticipated deliverables. The PHCN which should have wound down many years ago is still standing, while the privatization process has suffered many set backs in the hands of successive governments. Successive governments had severally also laid much of the blame on cabals and saboteurs. It is difficult to say whether these claims are real or imagined and how they play out. President Goodluck Jonathan on August 26, 2010 launched his government’s “Power Sector Roadmap”, a kind of contract with Nigerians for stable electricity supply. The 2010 plan targeted the generation of 14,000 megawatts power generation by 2013 and 40,000MW by 2020. Nigeria currently generates about 4500MWs with no hope that it can generate up to 8000MWs by December. Indeed, three years down the line, difficulties in meeting the targets have forced the Presidency to commence review of its review. Like in the old, issues and accusations around cabals and saboteurs have continued to reverberate in the power sector. The Nigeria Union of Electricity Employees (NUEE) had argued that: “if the government is really serious about the sector, it should allow the 25 licensed companies to operate alongside PHCN, like the Nigeria Electricity Supply Company (NESCO).” Secretary- General, NUEE, Joe Ajaero, had accused Nnaji of conflict of interest and selfishness. Ajaero said: “Nnaji has a private company, known as Geometric Power Limited, which can only start business if privatization is implemented. They want to use privatization to achieve their own selfish interest.” NESCO has been operating in Nigeria since 1929, generating its own electricity without taking over PHCN. It is believed that due to the structure of the electricity industry, it is not possible for private operators to build their distribution facilities to compete with the extant distribution network of PHCN. NESCO as a private company has generated and distributed electricity (through separate licenses) efficiently for many years in Jos to the satisfaction of its customers; this is a case in point to support private sector investment. However, there is need to establish a structure for private-public partnership to prevent what may be elegantly describe as turf wars. There are examples in Jos where both PHCN and NESCO are laying parallel distribution facilities in the same neighbourhood. Aside from health and safety issues, what this means is that consumers will be compelled to pay for the cost of multiple infrastructure; whereas one set of infrastructure would have served the populace at a far-reduced cost. The second issue raised by the unions is that “since 2005, through the power sector reform, the monopoly of NEPA/PHCN was supposed to have been broken with the unbundling of NEPA into 18 companies to
Dagogo-Jack...Poor performance in 2013 will leave the reform very vulnerable and lead to gain reversals and market confusion
President Jonathan… days of sleeping with ‘noise from generators’ would soon be a thing of the past
NeboI... have no doubt that we will succeed
There are some people who benefit from the fact that there is no reform, that there is no privatization and they have been benefiting from it for years. So they have more potential to upstage it than the people who are just trying to come inside. So when you go and say you want to discuss labour issues on the pages of newspaper, there are people who will go in there and incense labour to take another position and you wont know how that happens. But suddenly you are very close to closing a deal and you have to start afresh. It is better to be strategic in labour issues, that all I will say. work alongside PHCN, yet none of those companies founded by private investors has generated a single megawatt of electricity.” The EPSR Act does not provide for the 18 successor companies to work alongside PHCN. When the companies are privatised, PHCN, which was established as a holding company, will cease to exist. On the assertion that none of the 20 private power companies issued license by the NERC to generate electricity has added a megawatt of electricity to the national grid, it needs to be stated that the enabling environment has been harsh and uninviting. In particular, the tariff regime has not been encouraging and the companies are not charity organisations. Suffice to say that the tariff regime is being addressed by NERC to make it investor-friendly. Managing Director of NESCO, Mr. Christopher de Kretser, an engineer by profession, in an exclusive interview with The Guardian said that the corporation also supplies “bulk electricity supply off-takes of power to PHCN and state government rural electricity distribution networks not connected to the national grid.” NESCO serves an area of some 14,000 square kilometres in Plateau and adjacent states and supplies mining, industrial consumers and domestic consumers in those states. On the financial status of the company, Kretser disclosed that the value of the com-
pany assets was recently put at N24 billion, adding that the company is presently a Private Limited Company which includes minority holdings by federal and various state governments. He said that there are 4,920 consumers comprising domestic, industrial and commercial loadings and bulk supplies to NEPA, pointing out that the staff strength of the company is 274. Kretser told The Guardian that NESCO was established basically to supply the Nigerian mines fields with electricity for the heavy plants. He said the company is still very much in business, adding that they still have a licence to operate. On the challenges of the company since its establishment, Kretser, who has been with NESCO in Jos for 25 years, said, “it is just the usual challenges that any business operating in Nigeria face. But we have been able to cope with them and nothing has been too difficult.” With this Week’s admittance by Nebo and Dagogo-Jack, it is obvious that the so-called cabals are still much around, lurking around, waiting for any slip from the reformists to strike again. Obviously conscious of the ‘banana peels’, Nebo has vowed not to be deterred by the activities of the cabals, assuring that there would soon be an outburst of economic benefits as a result of anticipated improvements in elec-
Think of it this way, the headquarters of corruption is within electricity distribution sector because you cannot have a transformer easily. For instance, the distribution companies in the last five years have not been audited. So by privatizing them, you wipe out corruption there.
Ajaero...They want to use privatization to achieve their own selfish interest
Krester...NESCO also supplies “bulk electricity supply off-takes of power to PHCN and state government rural electricity distribution networks not connected to the national grid
tricity. He told The Guardian: “I mean, it is all too obvious that lots of funds have gone into the sector but in some areas, you don’t see a concomitant development in the sector, so there are problems within and without. There is the issue of Nigerian factor, cartels that feel that once there is power, they lose their own businesses.” Nebo said he was equal to the task and would work with all well-meaning stakeholders to tackle the challenges. He said: “I have no doubt that we will succeed. In fact, I am so optimistic that we will solve the power problems. The power problems give the President nightmares and give all of us nightmares. The President has made up his mind that the power problem in Nigeria will be solved and we will do everything that is required.” Also, as a mark of its determination to deliver on its promises in the electricity sector, the Presidency has described the year 2013 as “a make or break” year. According to a review of the electricity sector in 2012 and projections for the future reported by The Guardian recently, the year 2013 is a “make or break year” for the electricity sector reform in Nigeria. Timely delivery of the 2013 milestones, according to officials, will guarantee a big payoff from 2014 and beyond in terms of improved electricity supply, impact on the economy, and political dividends to this administration. “Poor performance in 2013 will leave the reform very vulnerable and lead to gain reversals and market confusion,” Dagogo-jack said. The roadmap, which contains a number of policies and institutional reforms, was seen as having the capacity to expand electricity supply and access significantly. “In the medium term (up to December 2013), we can expect: A modest increase in the total power generation capacity of the existing PHCN power stations (which would bring the total to just under 4,500mw); the addition of 4,775mw from the National Integrated Power Project (NIPP) plants; and a substantial (3,300mw) increase in power generation capacity from Independent Power Producers (IPPs) all by December 2013. As such, the medium term expectation is that 14,000mw of power generation capacity will be available by December 2013, “ the 2010 roadmap had promised. Although certain aspects of the roadmap were said to have been accomplished; by the close of the year 2012, key aspects like completion of the privation timetable, among others, were fraught with postponements and disappointments. And speaking at Presidential Power Reform Transaction Summit on Monday, President Goodlick Jonathan assured Nigerians that the days of sleeping with ‘noise from generators’ would soon be a thing of the past. President Jonathan made references to what he described as ‘daunting challenges’ and assured that he won’t be distracted. Mr. President called on all sector agencies to redouble their efforts, sustain their vigilance, and increase the level of cooperation and synergy amongst themselves required for the earliest completion and delivery of the structures and services, “that will meet the needs and expectations of our population.” As a concerned stakeholder put it in a chat with The Guardian: “It is hoped that such agencies would be vigilant enough to avoid the ‘banana peels’ which the powerful cabals have for years placed in the way of the reforms.”
Elumelu...federal government should quickly resolve the labour severance settlement issues to enable the new owners pay the balance of 75 per cent and take over
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Revue Bring Back the Book… Two years after, Nigerians still await programmes By Anote Ajeluorou N December 20, 2010, President Goodluck O Jonathan launched a book project designed to stimulate a near-comatose book industry, with the attendant poor reading culture that has been at the centre of Nigeria’s backward profile in almost all areas of development. Many hailed it as a big deal and argued that the president, being an academic, could not have conceived a better idea for the country. But there were cynics also; who described it as an electioneering ploy merely designed to win votes. But many voices shouted them down and they adopted the sit-down-look posture, confident that time would prove them right. Indeed, that seems to be the case. After taking the book campaign train from Lagos to Benin City, Abuja and Bayelsa, the essential template that should drive the book culture to the doorsteps of Nigerians seems to be lacking. In fact, Mr. Jonathan’s book campaign has gone so quiet as if it never happened. It was Nigeria’s distinguished Professor of English, New Orleans University, Niyi Osundare, who perhaps reframed the operational framework for Mr. President’s pet project, when he said, “Eleven days to the end of 2010, Nigeria performed a strange but highly significant operation; we celebrated the absence of an important entity by wishing its restoration and presence. “Tagged Bring Back the Book, this is a slogan that has a lot to offer than it seductively alliterates to. And this offer is predicated on a number of intriguing assumptions; first is that the book once lived and probably thrived in Nigeria. “Second, the book left perhaps without a forwarding address. We were never told the manner and tradition of its departure, whether it was sacked, excommunicated, set ablaze or PHOTOS: CHARLES OKOLO President Gooluck Jonathan and Prof. Wole Soyinka and some youths during the launch of Bring Back the Book in 2010… in Lagos whether the poor thing just walked away on its creation of platform for national discussion on In Okediran’s view, “The President’s BBtB proj- Book Fair Trust (organisers of the yearly own having found the Nigerian environment ways to develop the educational system cum ect was a laudable programme. At its inauguNigeria International Book Fair), Mr. Samuel hostile and life threatening, especially in those reading culture and conducting research and ration about two years ago, it created a large Kolawole submitted, “Well, I was disappointdark and dreary days of military dictatorship. supporting organisations carrying out related measure of public awareness, especially ed. I think it was a great idea, but as human “Are we to assume further that having felt the activities. among policymakers. The programme also beings, it may not have been carried through impact of the book’s departure, Nigeria is now Others are support for the production of books gave some of the stakeholders in the book properly. One of the things that we always ready, even eager, for its restoration and relocally by encouraging publishers via buying of industry such as the writers, publishers and complained about in this country is that entry complete with all citizen rights and oblibooks for distribution to libraries nationwide; booksellers some modicum of exposure and stakeholders in the book industry are not gation thereof and grant it full liberty in purconstruction, refurbishment and stocking of respect. always carried along. If you’re going to do a suant of its duties as a vital national commodilibraries across the country and organising “During the recent visit of the Trustees of the programme that has to do with books, the ty? national competitions aimed at driving the cul- Rainbow Book Club to President Jonathan, the involvement of printers, publishers and book“I can hear the book saying in justifiable ture of book reading in the country. They also leader of the delegation, Mrs. Koko Kalango, sellers has to be sought. It’s not about the fananger, ‘who drove me away in the first place envision that “Bring Back the Book will help trans- attributed the UNESCO’s recognition of Port tastic cameras and big event. When people and why all this high-powered fuzz about my form Nigeria by empowering more people to Harcourt as the World’s Book Capital in 2014 to talk about publishers, what comes to their return at this time of all times?’’ dare to be the change-agents needed to make the President’s BBtB project. However, like mind is that he’s a businessman and he doesIn launching the book campaign, the drivers Nigeria a better place having discovered the many government programmes, the initiative n’t need to be consulted when policy issues of the project, among others thing, had said, strength that lies in reading books. suffered some degree of neglect, which gradu- are to be discussed. If you do anything in the “Bring Back the Book initiative is a brainchild of An insider source in the book campaign initia- ally pushed the project to the background. educational sector, you need books. Who proPresident Goodluck Jonathan established with tive, who preferred anonymity, expressed the “In order to redress this problem, every effort duces the books? It’s the publisher! So, you a view to develop a book reading culture in view that although the project had until now should be made by government to re-invigor- need to bring him in, to say, ‘what direction Nigeria, especially amongst the youth who ate the project through a more active arm of should we follow?’ have lost value for reading either for education- been silent, it was to complete the process of institutionalising and making project indegovernment than where it was previously “These are some of the implementation chalal purposes or entertainment. domiciled. On the other hand, the programme lenges that have not allowed the project to “The initiative seeks to empower the youth for pendent. He assured that Bring Back the Book would soon hit the road with vigour, notcould be handed over to a very active book realise its intention. But I think its intention the future by preparing them for the opportuorganisation such as the Association of was good. Practically, what should we do? It’s nities and challenges faced by us as a people by ing that Bring Back the Book was about the only trans-governmental, trans-political and transNigerian Authors, Rainbow Book Club, Lagos not about holding fantastic seminars. It’s not engaging in series of activities designed to generational project that would outlive the Book and Art Fair (LABAF) or Ebedi a political issue; it’s a policy issue and in poliencourage the culture of reading amongst the Jonathan administration and so its promoters International Writers Residency among others cy issues, you need to involve every stakeholdyouth. would not allow it to die. He said efforts were for proper and effective execution”. er at every level. That’s very important for you “The president believes the secrets of goverBut current President of ANA, Prof. Remi Raji- to be able to achieve your objectives. It’s a nance, amazing discoveries, development, pro- already in place to rev it up. HOWEVER, some players in the book industry, Oyelade said he didn’t know enough about the laudable initiative. I don’t think the idea gressive management principles and every project to make informed comment, saying, “I should be allowed to die, but everybody must other desire of any nation are hidden in books, who expressed their views on the matter, are pained that such a laudable project has been hit can’t comment on a project I really do not be involved to help realise its potentials. books written over generations and that only by perennial government inertia. Although for- have a brief on, either as individual author or “You can talk from now till forever, but what through reading can the leaders of tomorrow mer member, House of Representatives and for- as President of ANA. Simply, we do not lack the is the implementation level? I think implenurture dreams and values that can change mer president, Association of Nigerian Authors capacity to think out good projects as the BBtB, mentation is the challenge that the Bring Back society” (ANA) who is also promoter of the only residen- and I am sure the government meant well. the Book programme is facing. They should The objectives of the initiative, the organizers cy programme for writer in the country, Ebedi Whatever has happened to that dream, its involve stakeholders in the book industry for said, would include ‘revitalising the reading International Writers Residency Programme, Dr. actualisation and management, I do not it to work”. culture, with knowledge serving as a tool for Wale Okediran praised the project, he is conknow.” However, President, PEN Nigeria Centre, development and projecting the nation’s culcerned at its current inertia and suggests ways Managing Director of Ibadan-based Ibadan-based poet and lawyer, Mr. Tade ture, for survival, sustenance and protection. to move it forward. University Press Plc and chairman, Nigeria Ipadeola is not happy that Jonathan has Activities intended to drive the project also played politics with his own laudable project. included ‘organising book readings in educaAccording to him, “The buck for Bring Back the tional institutions at all levels across the counBook stops at President Goodluck Jonathan’s try; establishment of Bring Back the Book Clubs table and he has failed miserably at realising a in educational institutions to serve as hubs for development of intellectual capacity of the youth; support for literary events and projects; CONTINUED ON PAGE 25
I can hear the book saying in justifiable anger, ‘who drove me away in the first place and why all this high-powered fuzz about my return at this time of all times?
THe GuARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
...Still waiting for the
book programmes CONTINUED FROM PAGE 24 potential for Nigeria there. I was one of those who received that initiative with enthusiasm. Today, the whole exercise appears gimmicky and wasted. It was clearly not thoughtthrough despite the willingness of writers to get this one initiative going. “I think this failure lost Mr. President a lot of those who believed in him and is fast making outright enemies for the man. How do you bring in Wole Soyinka into a scheme and then mess things up so thoroughly? The National Library has been on strike for a long time now; state libraries are comatose and local government libraries are non-existent. This is inexcusable in a country that claims to fight Boko Haram. Indeed, failure of this magnitude gave impetus to Boko Haram.” Secretary of PeN, Mr. Oluwafiropo ewenla, is not as charitable at the failure of the project, as he has harsh words for its organisers, saying, “That is what our oga at the top wants. but we inquired then if the book went anywhere. Those who acclaimed the project then have now been shown as lacking a depth of understanding of the plight of books in our country. Where did the book ever go warranting anyone bringing it back? “You cannot end a journey you never started. It was not meant to be anything but a jamboree. I am yet to come across a writer, publisher, librarian who has benefited from it and is willing to openly campaign for it. If it is anything, it is a sham. I do not know what its aim is. So, I cannot talk about whether it achieved its aim or not when I find the aim questionable from the beginning. It is more than certain writers and the book industry have been taken for a ride. “Those who have benefited in any small way have unconsciously endorsed the scam that it is. I bet you need to see what would have appeared on paper as money spent on bringing back the book project. I strongly feel that our body of writers should call for an audit.” uTHOR of Eno’s Story, Ayodele Olofintuade views the project purely from a political prism, noting, “As far as I am concerned, Bring Back the Book has achieved its aim of getting Goodluck ebele Jonathan his desperately needed votes. The first sign of how the initiative would end was there at the beginning when the President launched his badly edited book My Friends and I on the same day the initiative was launched. “I know a few PDP states have tried to bring books to their cities but these are half -hearted attempts whereby a few hundred pupils ended up with books they probably won’t read because there are no back up programmes to encourage the love of reading in them. Bring Back the Book is just another white elephant political vehicle, all noise and no substance. I have absolutely no faith in the programme presently. “Frankly, bring back the book was a perfect example of the profligacy, corruption and waste that are now the hallmark of GeJ’s presidency. I can bet you that they cannot produce one single receipt on how the millions of naira were spent. Nigerian publishing houses are in trouble because of a government that doesn’t care about its citizenry. Publishing houses like Cassava Republic, Farafina, Parresia that are headed by young, vibrant Nigerians are going under due to the fact that government has failed to invest in them and give them grants so that the books that are supposedly being brought back will become cheap enough for the people to access”. ANA PR, North and author of City of Memories, Mr. Richard Ali sees the project in a similar vein, saying, “”I’m afraid I now think it was an act of gimmickry and it is clear that Nigerian writers and publishers were taken for a ride. You would admit that educated consumers of culture largely supported the President in his succession travails and presidential campaigns, he being a Ph.D holder and all made us sympathetic. His Bring Back the Book campaign was seen as a further nod to the president’s intention in terms of culture and intellectual pursuit. but the silence since then shows that we were sadly deceived. “President Jonathan, in his preference for the kleighlights of Nollywood over other organs of culture such as the Association of Nigerian Authors, has shown that the Bring Back the Book initiative was done solely in the heat of campaigning. He recently gave Nollywood another N3 billion. How much has he given ANA and Nigerian publishers? There isn’t a lot we can do except continue to speak the truth
to power. President Jonathan is making his administration into a philistine one as far as books and publishing are concerned and this is sad in capital letters, sad in any sort of emphasis you can imagine”. Prof. J.O.J. Nwachukwu-Agbada of Abia State university, uturu sees the project as “A ploy. I feared it would not last. Anybody who read my reaction to Mr. President’s gesture in 2011 would know that I took it with a grain of salt. Ordinarily, I think he may have meant well but his advisers may have turned his face away since it was not a vote-catching antic. They’d have reminded him that it was not ‘it’; they’d have told him to go to road workers unions, butchers’ guild, actors’ associations, musicians, stand-up comedians etc. I heard he doled out a huge sum to one of them, a gesture that immediately made the stakes higher in the said organization! “Yet the call for the revival of the book culture, an idea which the President seemed to have bought just before his election in 2011, is one whose time has come. Could it be that the President tried to woo the youth with his gesture, and noticing that they were not keen, took on other matters? If it had been about the social media or pornography, he would’ve got their ears and eyes too. Well, the campaign for the return of the reading culture needs to last a little longer, in fact longer than the years the disinterest in books have taken. A campaign such as returning people’s interest in books shouldn’t have been a one-off offer, which, when it does not catch fire immediately can be jettisoned offhandedly. “What are writers to do? They are not supposed to do anything except to continue writing. One can’t be a writer and also a promoter of what one writes. It’s difficult to combine the two. except a few people who have that kind of ability. They could organize publishers’ parleys where the necessity for book promotion will have to be re-iterated. “Why disinterest in books should continue to be a social headache is baffling. How can we step surefooted into the present century de-emphasizing reading? Or do we want to remain in the 19th century? What humbug of education are we propagating?” OWeVeR, publisher, renowned author of such novels as Nigger at Eton, Revenge of the Medicine Man, Juju and recently, God, Sex and the Englishman and organiser of enugubased Coal City book Convention, Mr. Dillibe Onyeama commends the book initiative as providing impetus for stimulating book culture in the country, adding, “President Goodluck Jonathan’s Bring Back the Book campaign made a huge psychological impact when seen in the light of coming from no less an authority than the Number 1 helmsman in the corridors of power. True enough, Nigeria’s reading culture was in a comatose state. His call was the greatest news for stakeholders in the book industry since Nigeria’s independence in 1960, for no central government other than passing support voiced by former VicePresident Dr. Alex ekwueme during the Second Republic had shown any interest to promote the intellectual dividends offered by the book. “Our ‘brain drain’ crisis caused the decline of literature in Nigeria because with the largest population of Western-trained manpower in black Africa, such as Nigeria boasted, we also boasted a vibrant reading culture which kept many publishers off-shore afloat, resulting in many job losses off-shore when interest in books dwindled with the entry of the military in Nigeria’s affairs of state. Mediocrity was consequently enthroned, and has in the main remained enthroned till this day - resulting in a depressed economy for stakeholders in the book publishing industry. “Not long thereafter the NLNG-sponsored award, The Nigerian Prize for Literature upped its annual prize incentive from - I think it was $50,000 - to a mind-boggling $100,000 every year. As if like a wave of a magic wand, the great literary boom years of the 1970s and early 1980s - when the Obi egbunas, Chukwuemeka Ikes, buchi emechetas, Amos Tutuolas, Nkem Nwankwos, Gabriel Okaras and the ben Okris, etc, were selling 40,000 copies a year of their novels - have returned, bringing us the Chimamandas and Chinwe unigwes and several other exceptional literary talents. “I am sure that President Jonathan would still have won the last election with a landslide if no writer voted. As it is, he is to be saluted for the significant upsurge in the output of literary efforts since his campaign”.
President Jonathan and Soyinka in a group photograph with school children after the launch of the project
Association of Nigerian Authors’ president, Prof. Remi Raji
Publishers urge stiffer penalties for book piracy He Nigeria Publishers T Association (NPA) has cried out over the increasing activities of pirates in the industry lamenting and that over 60 percent of its revenue is lost to piracy annually. NPA president, Chief Ngwobia Okereke disclosed recently this as part of activities to commemorate World book and Copyright Day. He said the association faced stiff competition from pirates and appealed to government to address the menace to prevent the industry from going into extinction. He stated, “Despite the unpredictable economic and business environment, book piracy is threatening the publishing industry in the country. It is the greatest threat to the industry. The pirates are now very sophisti-
cated in their nefarious acts, they go abroad and illegally reproduce books for distribution in the country. Last year, 11 container loads of pirated books were seized by the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) in conjuction with the Nigeria Copyright Commission (NCC). Government should increase funding of NCC in order to adequately equip the commission to effectively tackle piracy with such vigour as that of NAFDAC in the pharmaceutical sector. “Piracy is just like armed robbery; they are striving to run us out of business. In situations where we sell 150,000 copies of books, we now manage to sell 30,000; it is that bad. Nigeria Copyrights Commission (NCC) is making efforts to
review the law concerning piracy and make the penalty stiffer. Presently, the penalty is very mild but if it is reviewed, we believe there would be changes.” The association also frowned at the lack of reading culture among Nigerians and advocated a workable National book Policy to address the trend. Okereke also called for the reintroduction of the Bring the Back Book campaign introduced by President Goodluck Jonathan, saying the initiative was a major intervention which underscores his government’s recognition of collaboration between creative writing and publishing as an important ingredient of nation building that should primarily impact the education sector.
Olowu donates books to mark birthday ubLIC Relations consultant and notable P brands and media journalist, Mr. Ganiyu Olowu, recently donated 70 Mass Communication and media related textbooks to the Department of Mass Communication, Moshood Abiola Polytechnic, (MAPOLY) Abeokuta, Ogun State to commemorate his 40th birthday, which he marked on Wednesday April 17, 2013. A statement issued by Tunde DawoodAkerele, Associate Consultant, TST Public Relations on behalf of Ganiyu Olowu noted, “Olowu’s turning 40 years old is symbolic and it provides opportunity to reflect on the past and project how to better serve God and be more useful to humanity. “For me, turning 40 is not the big thing, the lesson there is for me to ask myself how far have I been useful to God and the reason for my creation. I think beyond all the rat race, it is time to be closer to God and be part of social value development in Nigeria and beyond”. He noted further that the need to support social responsibility development and add
value to our local economy informed the decision for the donation of those mass communication and media studies textbooks to MAPOLY Mass Communication department, where he graduated from about 16 years ago. He noted, “I am using this symbolic event to call everyone of us to action to give back to our schools as a way of further improving the state of the education sector. Nothing is too small to add value to our dying education system. You can contribute human hour, books, advice and raise public support for the system”. Olowu explained that 40 out of the 70 Mass Communication textbooks were symbolically donated to mark the 40th birthday, while the remaining 30 were to complement volumes of books in the popular Mass Communication Training Centre. Head of Department of Mass Communication, Alhaji Akeem Rauf Adegoke described the gesture of the donor as unique and commendable and enjoined other Alumni members to emulate him.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
...The buzz in town
Stories by Chuks Nwanne
One-on-one with Omawunmi URING a press chat held recently in Lagos to D unveil her debut show, Omawumi in concert: The Lasso Of Truth, powerful vocalist Omawumi
‘My music has matured’
Megbele was confident she would be able to pull through. At a time when most female singers grumble over the male dominance in the Nigerian music industry, the Delta State namand as a woman, that’s a line worthy to be tive and single mother of one, decided to take a bold to stage her first live concert. Though other toed. If you listen to my music, I try as much as notable acts such as Elegant Stallion Onyeka On- possible to make the kind of music that even people that were here before me, would nod and wenu, Wizkid, Tuface, Tiwa Savage and others say, ‘nice one.” were on the billed, the show was conceived to From her tone and choice of music, you wonhave Omawunmi as the centre of attraction, der if Omawumi is as a feminist? with the others playing supporting role. “Feminist is too strong a word. I feel that everyHeld at the Oriental Hotel, Victoria Island, body should have something that they are pasLagos, Oma as she’s fondly called by friends and sionate about. I’m passionate about the plight of admires, held guests spellbound as she thrilled my fellow women and children. I don’t know if the audience in a live performance. A powerful that qualifies me as a feminist.” vocalist with energetic stagecraft, it was cheers However, after the emergence of Keleke Love all the way as the first runner up in the West singer, Tiwa Savage, rumours strated making the Africa Idol TV showed her true colours. All through the gig, Omawunmi was in full control, rounds about a possible rivalry between the returnee singer and homegrown Omawunmi. But keeping close eye contact with her band. Though supported other guest artistes, who actually added colours to the concert, Oma left no one in doubt of her rating as one of the leading female acts in Nigeria. Organized by Flytime Entertainment, the gig saw Omawumi performed her new song, What a bang bang with 2Face Idibia, then did Warn Yourself with Wizkid, before delivering her hit track, Bottom Belle, alongside the composer of the song. She also did Bob Marley‘s No Woman No Cry with her known industry friends: Tiwa Savage, Seyi Shay and Waje. Dressed in pink outfits, the ladies got a resounding applause for doing justice to the song originally done by the reggae great. Self-styled Egeripapa 1 of Bayelsa Timaya, Mercy Chinwo and Onyeka Onwenu also performed at the well-attended event. “This concert is a way of showing who I am; as a mother, an entertainer, my character as a funny person, the serious side of me, and my experiences (personal and otherwise). So, basically, that’s what the album is all about. All I’m trying to do is to make people understand that I pass messages through my music; everybody can relate with my music. This is what the concert is all about and that’s what I’m about for this particular period of my life,” she said. Meanwhile, plans have reached advanced stage for the release of Omawumi’s second album, The Lasso Of truth. The work, which is a true reflection of the Nigerian society, presents Oma as a conscious musician. “I’ve been working and now I am ready. My album will be out soon and before you ask what the title means, my last album was titled Wonder Woman, and in a story about her, she has a lasso with which she whips and forces victims to tell the truth; that is what I am about as an artiste and it reflects in my songs too. It will be a 12track album,” she revealed. To the artiste, the present situation in the country calls for conscious music from the musicians that would sensitize the society and set agenda for the government. “When you listen to my songs such as If you ask me, you will be like, ‘yes, what this girl is saying is the truth.’ If you hear me say, ‘When breeze blow, fowl nyash go open,’ you will just know that it’s a true statement. If my activism were for commercial reasons, I wouldn’t think towards the conscious music. I feel that as a musician, your only vocation is to make sure that what you are saying out of your mouth, even if you are saying ten rubbishes, say one good thing so that when you are no more, people would remember you for that. Look at the people I emulate, people like Hugh Masekela, Onyeka Onwenu, Mariam Makeba, Majek Fashek… yes, I don’t know about now, but then, he was an activist.” As for her success story in the industry, Omawunmi sees it as a divine grace. “My case is different; it’s the hand of God. I got more gigs when I did If You Ask me, than when I did Bottom Belle. There are ways of selling your music; even if you are selling conscious music, if you put it inside gbam gbam dim dim music, before people know what you are saying, you had drawn their attention.” From her days in the West Africa Idol house, Omawumi has always been seen as the younger Onyeka Onwenu, especially after she rendered Onwenu’s Ekwe. “It was like watching a younger Onyeka sing,” she quipped. “I emulate her character and personality; for her to be able to be so graceful up Omawunmi till this time and for her music to still be on de-
in reality, both ladies are partners in progress, operating in different worlds. “Oh no, never,” she said. “There is a song I did with Timaya, I No Fit Be You; we cannot all be the same. You run your own show, I will run my own. As I am going forward, I am only looking forward. If there is Tiwa, Waje, Asa, and all of them, God bless them as we all go forward. I am not looking at anybody; I have my eyes on my own success and that is what matters. If you do something good, I will commend you. I admire Tiwa for what she has done; she came to the industry and within two years she has already become a brand ambassador.” She continued: “I’m not someone who is moved with titles but I always pray that God con-
I believe that we ladies need to learn how to work hard; artistes that are doing well today are people, who are working hard. The problem with the ladies is that we wait to be called; if you are not called, go for it yourself.
tinually makes me relevant and bless me with a fan base that will stay true to me and my career. I’m a musician, whether I am the first or the last is not a problem.” On the inspiration behind her songs, the Delat State native revealed, “I always ask, ‘What’s the Nigerian way of writing music?’ The basic genre of music known to be original Nigerian is highlife and juju, which break into different categories. I could write like that but it’s always a challenge for me because I grew up listening to jazz; my father was a jazz collector and my mum a veteran broadcaster. So, I grew up listening to a different genre of music that wasn’t really Nigerian original music.” When you listen to her song, Serious Love Wantintin, it sounds more like a Nigerian song with a highlife groove. “It’s so because I had the opportunity to listen to artistes like Victor Olaiya, Onyeka Onwenu, the late Christy Essien, Njemanze, Louis Armstrong and others. It’s really a challenge writing songs to fit into the Nigerian setting. That’s why if you listen to In The Music, I said, ‘whether nah Kwitto, whether nah jazz, Afro beat…just listen to the music and enjoy it.’ That’s the way it is for me.” Though known for her vocal ability, Omawumi never hid her interest in acting. And when the opportunity came, she grabbed it. “I enjoy acting; it’s a second love. So, I started making it known that I wanted roles and whenever anybody came and told me they wanted me to make a cameo appearance in their movies, I’d ask for auditions. The first I had was a movie directed by Fred Amata. It was exciting. The second one was the Return of Jennifa. She (Funke Akindele) told me she wanted me to make a cameo appearance, but I asked for a role and it worked. I did about eight scenes and it was good. Then I started getting scripts most of them I don’t like. I like to act in blockbuster movies because I like to associate myself with big things.” As for marriage, “matrimony is not something to rush into and I intend to live by that. I will not fall for the pressure of marriage because if I do and in the end something goes wrong, the same people will ask why I didn’t take my time. I don’t think it is a bad thing to take my time to understand the person I intend to get married to. I am not as strong-minded as you seem to believe; I just have a lot of confidence in myself and in the God I serve and the people around me. If I said nothing breaks me, that is lie, but not much can.” From her current recordings, it is obvious that the Bottom Belle crooner is getting better and better by the day. “I’m more mature today; I feel my music has become more mature than before. Today, I have the knowledge; as you grow, you tend to drop a lot of things. When you look at my old and new album, you will see the coming down of the body.” To other female artistes grubbing over the male dominance in the industry, Omawumi has this to say: “I believe that we ladies need to learn how to work hard; artistes that are doing well today are people, who are working hard. The problem with the ladies is that we wait to be called; if you are not called, go for it yourself. Set a goal for yourself and make efforts to achieve them.” To the younger artistes, she said, “you have to take advantage of every little opportunity; everybody is important and significant, no matter whom they are. Since sealing a deal as the brand Ambassador for Mortein, Omawunmi has been involved the campaign against malaria, which is currently killing African children on a daily basis. Aside from recording a song for the campaign, the singer was part of the anti-mosquito sensitisation tour of Africa. “It was lovely,” she enthused. “We went to the largest maternity clinic in Kenya; it was huge. The reason I jumped on that campaign is that children from age one to five do not have strong immunity like we the adults have. I believe that we can prevent mosquitoes by simply cleaning up our environment and using nets which are cheap.”
THe GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Glitz, glamour of the Black & White Ball UBY Garden, Lekki Lagos was the place to be last Sunday, as celebrities and elegant NigeriR ans thronged the newly erected events venue for the 2013 encomium Black & White Ball. Hosted by the encomium magazine, the well-organised event could simply be described as the gathering of the brightest stars in the entertainment industry and beyond. It was a celebration of style, fashion as notable fashion designers showcased their latest collection on the runway. From musicians to Nollywood stars, comedians, fashion designers, stylists, captains of industries, politicians, activists, media practitioners… it was a full house, with guests looking gorgeous in the black and white outfits. Now in its fourth edition, Julius Agwu, who recently celebrated his 40th birthday in grand style, hosted this year’s encomium Black & White Ball. On the bandstand was ego, the former back up singer with Lagbaja. The one time Glo Ambassador left no one in doubt of her musical abilities as she held the audience spellbound with her recordings, as well as some of the tracks she originally recorded with the Marsked One, Lagbaja. Speaking at the event, the publisher of the lifestyle magazine, Kunle Bakare expressed gratitude at the level of support and appreciation shown by readers and the media as well as at the high turnout. “It’s been amazing so far and we at encomium are very grateful for the immense support and love shown towards us. Since inception, we have always sought ways to make this event bigger Ayo Makun, Kcee, Julius Agwu, Senator, Chidi Mokeme and better and it gives us so much joy that once again we have put our best foot forward.” Topnotch celebrities in attendance include Senator Florence Ita-Giwa, Abike-Dabiri erewa, High Chief Alex Akinyele, Dayo Adeneye, Ali Baba, Fred Amata, Bisi Olatilo, Sunny Neji, Ayo Animashaun, Mudi, Victor Olaotan and others others. The encomium Black and White Ball also hosted an exciting fashion show to showcase the creative works of upcoming designers such as Rikalto, Vanskere, Tesslo, Olaedo, Imol and Omah. Meanwhile, multi award winning artiste and entrepreneur D’banj is the most Stylish Nigerian entertainer 2013. This was the verdict of encomium Weekly, Nigeria’s most respected celebrity journal. The prolific entertainer D’banj, was crowned at the encomium Black & White Ball/ elegance & Style awards. Others who were awarded include Julius Agwu, Florence Ita-Giwa who bagged two awards, AbikeDabiri erewa, Chris Okotie and ebube Nwagbo in recognition of their enormous efforts in setting the pace in fashion and style in their respective fields. 28 Awards including 2 lifetime achievement awards were given to remarkable Nigerian individuals who have distinguished themselves in their various professions and impacted positively on the Nigerian society. The encomium Black & White Ball was proudly sponsored by Intercontinental Distillers LTD, makers of Chelsea London Dry Gin, Squadron Asa
Asa commends MTN’s support for showbusiness Ne of Nigeria’s greatest music exports, Asa, O has commended the massive impact of corporate bodies in the country’s showbiz industry, citing MTN and a few others as major growth catalysts in the entertainment sector. Asa, who had an electrifying performance at the just-concluded MTN Calabar International Jazz Festival observed, “The music industry is growing and we value every support that we can get from those who have the financial power and love music. There’s a difference between corporations that love music and corporations that are sponsoring music for business reasons. I think MTN has always been involved in music from the beginning; they have been there for the love of music, not just for business. You can see it in everything they do - Project Fame, sponsorship of festivals and big music events every time. To the Bibanke singer, the Calabar International Jazz Festival is an innovation that should be encouraged by every well-meaning corporate organisation in the country. The internationally acclaimed songstress did not mince words as she listed MTN as one of the few corporate bodies that have over the years shown their belief in the Nigerian entertainment sector.
So much fun, as Ribena comes in can N a bid to announce the arrival of Itional Ribena can, a premium Nutrifruit drink, GlaxoSmithKline
On the availability of the new product, Akanbi assured their teeming consumers that the product is bounNigeria Plc recently staged an exclu- tiful in the market. sive gig to unveil the new, attractive “Our consumers can buy and conRibena can. Tagged Purple Party, sume their new Ribena can anywhere the event, which was held at the across Nigeria whether at home or prestigious Landmark Village, on-the-go,” he said. Oniru, Victoria Island, Lagos, According to the Head of Marketing, brought together fun lovers and Nutrition, GSK Consumer Nigeria Plc, loyal customers of the brand in an Mrs. Cherry eromosele, the company atmosphere of fun and excitement. is launching the refreshing drink in The Purple Party witnessed performances from notable acts such as P-Square, Chuddy K and May D, Whike DJ Tony Blaze kept the groove going all evening. to spice up the evening, comedians Buchi and Mc Bonus were on ground to cracked up the audience with hillarious jokes. On why Ribena choose the Purple Party to launch Ribena can, the Brand Manager, Olawale Akanbi informed that it is a way of connecting with its vibrant and active consumers. “Our target market is the young, vibrant and upwardly mobile individuals, who require the fruity goodness and cool refreshment only Ribena can provide. The Purple Party took place to give them the opportunity to interact with the brand in an appealing atmosphere that resonates easily with them” Akanbi said. P Square performing at the event
The jazz festival featured other top international and local artistes like eric Benet, Jonathan Butler, Jimmy Dludlu, Salvador Sango who flew in for the show, while some of the big names, in the Nigerian music scene, that performed were Darey, Bez, and Tari and others. Among prominent guests as the maiden edition of the event are Senator Ita-Giwa; the Honourable Minister for Tourism, Culture and National Orientation, edem Duke; Cross River State Commissioner for Information, Chief Akin Ricketts; the General Manager, Regulatory Affairs, MTN; Oyeronke Oyetunde, MD of UNICeM; Olivier Lenoir, MD of Tourism Bureau; Michael Williams, events and Sponsorship Manager, MTN; Dola Bamgboye and others. It would be recalled that MTN has been involved in the sponsorship of other major festivals such as the Anioma Festival, the Calabar Carnival, Abuja Festival, Osun Oshogbo Festival, Leboku Festival and Iriji Festival, to mention a few. The company’s motive to meet its customer’s passion has driven it to engage in the massive sponsorship of events that appeal to these teeming customers.
“We are committed to satisfying our consumers. We know that people are increasingly mobile and becan format for the convenience and cause we want all to have access to benefit of its esteemed consumers. their refreshing Ribena anytime “We are committed to improving and anywhere, we launched Ribena the quality of human lives by help- in cans,” eromosele said ing people do more, feel better and Over the years, Ribena fruit drink live longer. Ribena Sparkling Can is has evolved from concentrate forrich in Vitamin C (a powerful Antimat in glass bottles to the ready-tooxidant), so it is a ‘Better for You’ drink pack formats available in drink and is now available in cans- a 150ml, 288ml, and 1 Litre Tetra trendy packaging introduction that Packs, 500ml PeT bottles, and now fits consumer lifestyle with regards the most recent introduction is the to consumption occasion”. 330ml can format.
Seun Kuti goes live at the Shrine tomorrow He New Africa Shrine, Ikeja, Lagos, will T come under heavy sound of Afrobeat music tomorrow, as Seun Kuti leads the egypt 80 Band to the venue for this month’s edition of their monthly gig. Billed to start from 10pm till the early hours of the following day, the show will see the multi-instrumentalist entertain the audience with songs from him rich repertoire and possibly do some of his late father’s hits. From their rehearsal at the Kalakuta Museum, Ikeja, Lagos, ahead of the show, it is obvious that Afrobeat devotees and fun lovers in general are in for an exciting moment, as the band will be playing some of their new recordings. With Seun on the keyboard, alongside other instrumentalist, including veteran saxophonist, Baba Ani, the rehearsal, which lasted for hours, is an insight to what is to come on Saturday. Meanwhile, the egypt 80 Band is expected to embark on a six-week musical tour of europe after tomorrow’s show at the shrine. According to source, they are billed to performing at concerts and festivals in Brussels, Switzerland, La Reunion, France, Romania and others. Seun Kuti, whose third album will hit music shelf within the last quarter of the year, is expected to thrill his fans with the best of Afrobeat sound laced with heavy commentaries on the political situation in Nigeria.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Events ASIA NIGHT
In partnership with
TheGuardian Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
Nigerian Entertainment Conference
@ EKO HOTEL
Date(s): 26/04/2013 Location: Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Promoter: Eko Hotel & Suites Event Description This Friday from 7pm to 11pm, travel to the heart of Asia and enjoy various exotic specialties. Tasty dishes from China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam with a combined menu that has mouth watering dishes. With smooth music by the poolside and a cool breeze from the Atlantic Ocean, this is a night definitely not to be missed! Order your tickets online and get a free cocktail. www.afritickets.com
Date(s): 27/04/2013 Location: Ember Creek, 32 Awolowo Road, Ikoyi, Lagos. Promoter: Broadway Event Description We proudly present you new show MADAME M! Broadway gets Twisted!
Date(s): 26/04/2013 Location: Eko Convention Centre, Eko Hotel & Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos. Promoter: NET Event Description The NET Newspapers Ltd., publishers of Nigerian Entertainment Today, is putting together annual umbrella conference for the Nigerian entertainment industry tagged Nigerian Entertainment Conference. The inaugural edition, which will debut on Friday, April 26, at the Eko Hotel, is themed "Building The Industry Of Our Dreams." It will cover all the sectors associated with the entertainment industry including fashion, music, movies/films and media; also, sports, arts, IT, comedy and events. More info: www.afritickets.com
SALT 'N PEPA LIVE IN LAGOS! -
DIVAS ROCK CONCERT
Date(s): 27/04/2013 Location: Harvesters Marquee Promoter: HICC Welcome to the hottest connection party for singles this side of the Niger! Connect! meet. play. learn. be entertained. All on Saturday the 27th of April, 2013 Red Carpet starts 3:00pm GET TICKETS HERE: www.afritickets.com
Broadway gets TWisted
What you always wanted to know about women and love..in a Twisted way. Join Madame M!, the Dancers and Peter Sellers, John Travolta Email: firstname.lastname@example.org . More info: www.afritickets.com
Worship Leaders MasterClass Date(s): 01/05/2013 Location: 10 DEGREES Promoter: RODIZZIO ENTERTAINMENT CO. Event Description SALT 'N PEPA LIVE IN LAGOS! DIVAS ROCK CONCERT We expect an audience of no less than 3000 Nigerians, West Africans and Expats residing in the country for this show. It will be an evening of explosive, superior entertainment unlike any ever produced in the city of Lagos. The mission of Hot, Cool & Vicious - Divas Rock concert is to acknowledge and honor the accomplishments and contributions of the undisputed pioneers of female hip hop as well as our own home grown talents who have followed in their footsteps
Date(s): 01/05/2013 Location: The Capstone Promoter: Effective Worship Seminars Facilitator: Lenny Leblanc: Renowned songwriter, singer and songwriter. Writer of songs like Above All, There is none like you, Down at your feet O Lord Wale Adenuga: Songwriter and worship leader Olufunmi Olajoyegbe: Singer and recording artiste Segun Lawal: President, Spirit of David Other facilitators are Shola Aremu, Theophilus Emmanuel, Olaolu Lawal and Wole Adesanya www.afritickets.com
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
SPOTLIGHT ON MANDILAS ENTERPRISES LIMITED’S NIS ISO 9001: 2008 AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE ANDILAS Enterprises Limited – M Air Conditioning Division under the umbrella of Mandilas
Group, is an Authorized Independent Distributor of Carrier Air-Conditioners in Nigeria and providing a range of internationally recognized products and services. Carrier Air-conditioning expertise spreads across various services like sales, installation, maintenance and repairs with professionallyequipped and experienced staff across the entire range of Carrier equipment. That is, room units, split systems, packaged equipment’s, commercial and industrial central installations, adequate genuine Carrier spare parts for all equipment’s supplied are stocked. The company is headquartered in Lagos and operates through a network of established relationship with other major companies in the country. Recently, Mandilas Enterprises was announced as a recipient of the prestigious NIS ISO 9001: 2008 Award for Excellence by the Standards Organisation of Nigeria (SON). Speaking in Lagos on the Quality Management Certificate, an excited Group General Manager of the company, Mr. David Edwards expressed what he feels, as a company and an individual behind the company, about the positive development “we are really happy about this award and we know it is going to create a lot of improvement in our business. Apart from that, it is going to make our system a lot simple because currently, a lot of positions are redundant here. In the past, whenever we have some new staff, it was always very difficult to put them on our system to operate in the day-to-day activities. But now, everything is documented. All that is needed is just to hand over the position with a guideline on what to do and a clear direction of where to follow”. When asked further on how the company coped in the past when there were no records, documentation and guidelines and what connection do these have with Mandilas’ operations? Edwards said “in the past, we used to give newlyemployed staff a lot of trainings through the old staff. That is, the new staff learn on the job which took a long while before they become acquainted with our operations. But now, there is a laid down procedure and the processes are documented and the training period has become shorter. The fact is that, this award has made us more efficient in our operations”. In the same vein, Mr. Pal Singh, Mandilas’ General Manager believed that “the receipt of this award would change a lot for the brand in particular, and the company in general. Certainly, it will make a big effect on us. The company’s mission statement has to do with customer’s satisfaction and with this new development, our improvement and level of efficien-
Mr. David Edwards,
Mr. Pal Singh,
cy will rub off on both our old customers and the new ones. We will definitely become a more attractive supplier to our customers because the key word is quality”. Other features that distinguish the conpany’s brand from others in the market, according to the Group General Manager include “being the first suppliers of air-conditioners in Nigeria. The Carrier brand has been here since 1955 with a highly efficient maintenance division. We are well respected in terms of speed and the quality of maintenance we render to our customers. We do have a large stock of spares of our products which can get to any part of the country where they are needed in matter of hours”. He said further that “we have two kinds of air-conditioning systems. The first one is the commercial range which is the central systems, while the second one is the domestic range. At Mandilas, we are basically in the commercial system with the Carrier range and we are the single largest manufacturers that have the required facility for quick repairs. The parent company is always with us online to assist in terms of upgrading our technology, software and overall operations”. The company’s management stressed that it is doing a lot to increase the brand’s equity in the Nigerian market. In Singh’s words “with this award, we are improving on the quality and efficiency of the brand across the Carrier range. We are expanding the brand Mandilas and become associated with a wellknown and reliable service provider. We also have plans to do a lot of advertising, public relations through sponsorships and corporate social responsibility. These are just part of what we are doing to earn the deserved respect as a reputable supplier in the market”. Concerning the general assessment of the Cooling System Subsector of the economy, the General Manager said that “it is a highly competitive market but in the central air-conditioning systems, we are one of the best. We have the maximum market share in this sector. Most of the cooling gadgets you
see in many of the high-rise and other commercial buildings are Carrier. You will hardly see any other brands, even when you go to factories (manufacturing sector), hospitality sector, government agencies, oilfields and offshore locations. This is because of the quality of the product and the service maintenance that we have. Also, in domestic, yes, we have many other brands which are also good but Carrier has an edge. However, there are so many ways
Group General Manager, Mandilas Enterprises Ltd
General Manager Mandilas Enterprises Ltd
that a brand can do well in a competitive market such as providing quality products and reliable service which can give you an edge as noted earlier”. These attributes are in tandem with mission at Mandilas Enterprises Limited which is to work with clients to find optimal solutions to their needs. To accomplish this mission, Edwards said that “ we are dedicated to the provision of exceptional quality and cost effective services for every project undertaken. We shall maintain an attitude and atmosphere conducive to employee productivity and provide the proper resources, facilities and state-of-theart equipment to allow our employees to achieve successful project execution”. The company’s Quality policy is committed to providing the highest Quality of Air-conditioning services to our customers in Nigeria. Singh noted that Mandilas is “ensuring the effective implementation of the requirements of NIS ISO 9001:2008 Standard and the continual improvement of the effectiveness of its Quality Management System. Top Management in MEL is also committed to ensure that quality objectives established at the Corporate and Departmental levels are achieved and reviewed as necessary”.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
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50 | EXECUTIVEBRIEF
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
ExecutiveBrief In association with TRIPPLEA ASSOCIATES LIMITED
EXECUTIVE MANAGEMENT INFOTECH4DEXECUTIVES CUSTOMER EXPERIENCE EXECUTIVE FINANCE uromed Pharmaceuticals Limited is an emerging and quality conscious team, dedicated to quality delivery of pharmaceutical products for human health. The primary focus of all their activities is patients and consumers. To ensure that they continue to deliver on their commitments to the patients, customers and shareholders who rely on them, they are focused on improving the way they do business in respect of operational transparency and listening to the views of all stakeholders in healthcare delivery. The CEO/Superintendent Pharmacist of the organization Pharmacist Chibuike Agaruwa has all the qualities of a business leader. He is forthright, sincere, dedicated and committed to improving the health of the people through research, development and marketing of safe and effective pharmaceutical products of sustainable quality. In this interview with Nnamdi Nwokolo, Pharmacist Agaruwa spoke on the challenges posed by pharmaceutical products counterfeiters and sundry issues. He brings creativity, innovation, style, patience and commitment to his dream of getting to the pinnacle of his career. With over thirty five years post graduation experience, he is driven by the passion to improve the quality of life of people.
Background: I trained as a pharmacist at the University of Ife in the early 70’s. After the completion of my NYSC at General Hospital Ogoja, I was engaged by a Swiss Company CIBA-GEIGY in 1977 as a medical sales representative in Enugu. I grew through the ranks to become the product manager and subsequently Marketing Manager ethical products and General Sales Manager of Ciba-Geigy. In the course of my career, I went on an exchange programme with Ciba-Geigy UK; while there I worked in their marketing department. In 1992, I left to join Link pharmaceuticals Limited as the General Manager and from there I went into partnership with B&S Durbin UK. with the emergence of NAFDAC, my partners felt it was going to undermine their activities; even when I assured them that it’s a laudable initiative that streamline and control pharmaceutical
Pharmacist Chibuike Agaruwa
EUROMED, an Emerging Trend in the Pharmaceutical Industry if the product or service you are offering is not perceived as valuable by the market, then your chances of making money will be limited. It is to the extent that the market attributes value to your output that your bottom line would increase. Entrepreneurship is meeting identified needs and plugging holes for people for various reasons. Businesses founded outside of passion may not stand the test of time. The same applies to career; pursuing a What has been your biggest challenge since the change of career in any field that does not touch a core within you will baton? The major challenges we had as a corporate organization was always leave you with a hollow feeling, regardless of how mega finance and the product line that will give us return on invest- the take-home is. However, once you are doing something you ment. We approached the banks and they were asking for col- absolutely love to do or you are functioning in a field you are lateral which we didn’t have. I was very lucky that the residual specifically endowed to operate in, it makes the journey easier and the challenges of commerce more bearable. stock they left was what helped us to place the first order for Clomid (Clomid stimulates the release of hormones necessary for ovulation). What we did was to intensify our efforts to sell What can government do differently to help the industry? the product and make more money for the business. The driv- Government has a lot to do. I commend them for the establishing force for me was what I gathered from the multinationals. ment of The National Institute for Pharmaceutical Research. They The multinationals have a unique strategy and defined order need to sustain the interest in the direction they are going. The of running businesses. CIBA was a chemical company that was way out of all these is that we need spiritual rebirth, social, political and economic re-engineering. Collectively, we must negotiate into research programmes and product introduction. Dr. and determine what is good for the country. We are a country of Geigy was researching on the disease of the joints. He was double standards; the society that condemns you for being poor doing it independently and in 1964, they merged to become Ciba-Geigy. I told myself that if Dr. Geigy could do it, then I can. is the same society that will applaud you for acquiring illegal wealth. We need spiritual, economic, political and social regenerThe requirements are discipline, dedication and determinaation and process re-engineering to succeed as a nation. You’ll tion to succeed. discover that the younger generation is worse because over the What are the unique factors that stand your organisation out? years our values have been eroded. A society that cannot guaranThe therapy area in tee the survival and security of its citizens is dead. What legacy are we leaving for the younger generation? which we are very active is the fertility Projection for Euromed: segment. Couples that are childless go In the next five years, we should be able to start local production of our principal product. First of all, we’ll start with packaging through a lot of stress in our environ- and build up, because sometimes it’s not easy to convince your suppliers to start local production. But when you build up the ment but with market to a critical mass, they’ll see that the market is there. Our Clomid which is a product that stimu- intention is to provide employment for our teeming youths by building our market, so that we can start local manufacturing. lates the ovary to enhance the produc- When you start packaging a high volume product here, the packtion of egg for preg- aging will benefit from that and create more jobs for people. nancy; we are able to Once the business is growing, the machinery will come in and penetrate a very sen- there you go. sitive segment secSuccession planning: tion that will give reasonable returns Most multinationals you see today are started by one man, if they have held unto the organization; they wouldn’t be where they are on investment. We today. At Euromed, we have a business development manager promoted Clomid aggressively but the that we’ve delegated to do most of the jobs, though he accounts challenge of counter- to me directly. We have divided our operation into different feiters was a big con- departments for efficiency; Project management, research and cern. At a time, our development and product management. I cannot continue to be Clomid was so coun- in active operation so we have a strategy to impact on our bottom terfeited that we had line for seamless succession. In the next couple of years we should be in our own office space. up to seven fake brands in the market place. We took analy- Leadership philosophy: Leadership is the ability to set an objective a strategy to accomsis of all seven fake brands of the prod- plish it. In Nigeria, the youths are not cut out for delayed remuuct and found that neration. I operate an open door policy. Everywhere I’ve worked, they contained only my doors are always open; anybody can walk in and we reason starch and no active together to bring out the best for the organisation. That I’m the MD/CEO does not give me a monopoly of knowledge. I listen to ingredients. The counterfeiters were what my colleagues are saying – anything. My philosophy is using only starch to borne out of the belief that whatever task one is given or whatevmake the products, er area you find yourself, you should try as much as possible to until NAFDAC in con- leave it better than you met it. I strongly believe that what is junction with Sproxil worth doing is worth doing well. deployed the Mobile Advice to young Nigerians: Authentication Service (MAS) to frus- They should not be swayed by the circumstances of the environment. They should believe in themselves and the ability they trate and paralyse the fake /counterfeit have. Self discovering is the key to sustainable success. They products merchants. should learn from the lifestyle of the eagle. The eagle flies very high and from that vantage position, it gets a clear view of his Factors for business environment and from there it can pounce on a prey and pick it up. First, you must have a vision and set the strategy to achieve success: your vision, be focused, dedicated and believe in God. It takes discipline, commitment, perseverance and vision. What drives you? Our greatest source of inspiration is God. We also believe in total It’s important that dedication to specific goals, but our biggest strength is in our you don’t allow external influences integrity and customer service. To achieve world class you must give world class service and be able to sacrifice. Our vision is to be to kill or frustrate your vision. I think the leading pharmaceutical company because we are in the busientrepreneurship is ness of improving the health of the people, through research, development, manufacturing & marketing of safe and effective all about offering value. Some people pharmaceutical products of sustainable quality, caring for our may launch out just people and creating reasonable and sustainable wealth for shareto make money. But holders. products, but hey didn’t believe and backed out and said I should continue with the business. When they left, I insisted the name has to change to reflect the ownership change, and that’s how we got Euromed Limited. We’ve grown the company from little beginnings and now we have up to 11 products.
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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Executive Management By John J Matthews n business, it is essential to know the path just traveled. Most organizations take a look back at the preceding 1-2 months to evaluate their financial results and attempt to make rhyme or reason of it. Lengthy discussions are had to either justify or explain the results - of which there is no way of amending. In my experience, given my 20+ years in corporate America, the majority of time spent is usually reviewing past performance. Taking a look back is critical, but where I believe most organizations miss opportunity, is failing to spend greater time looking forward - to events and initiatives that they can truly influence. Learning from past events and results, organizations should adapt their upcoming initiatives to address or even enhance past performance. This is truly where a company can inspire fantastic results.
Organizational Transformation - A Step Forward
reviewing financial company. My rule of thumb is that organizations should look back one month and look forward three months. With every passing month, this sequence of review stays the same, re-forecasting three months in advance. This process enables a prudent organization to focus its energy on impacting future business, not wallowing in past performance. The numbers are what the numbers are and warrant review, but they will never change. Know The Results: If you are sitting in a meeting discussing financials of the company from one or two months ago and the results are news to you, we have a problem. Systems and procedures are lacking at an organization if the results are communicated at the end of a month without any prior knowledge of trends or KPI’s. Processes need to be interjected along the way so that critical decisions can be made With an introduction of Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) throughout the month and the review of the previous month into their ongoing management practices, organizations is cursory at best. Leaving your can begin to transcend to a for- team in the dark until the month-end meeting creates ward thinking, action organidependency, as opposed to zation rather than backward
prudent management. Re-Forecast on the Fly: With your annual plan in hand, this is the time to learn from the first month’s results and reforecast the next three months - both from a financial and initiative standpoint. Prior to the start of the annual plan, projections were based on expectations of the business. Now with a month in the books, re-forecasting to address shortfalls with newer initiatives should be employed. This strategy consistently keeps the business approach fresh and much like a coach making adjustments to their game plan at halftime allows for reactions to the real business environment. At the end of subsequent month, the process repeats.
ustomer service: Just what is it? Defining the term “customer service” is not as easy as it may seem. For most people it can be described as running a business well in order to keep customers happy. But within that definition customer service can encompass all sorts of procedures, policies, communications and behaviours. The Institute of Customer Services uses the definition: “It is the sum total of what an organisation does to meet customer expectations and produce customer satisfaction.” So it is not only the service the staff offer and the way complaints are handled, but can also include the provision of good quality products and offering an enjoyable shopping experience. All businesses should have a system in place so they can find out what customers expect, and then ensure they meet those expectations in order to keep them happy. The different models and theories about customer service have varying specific examples and suggestions, but there are some basic questions that should always be dealt with.
back and three months forward creates a culture at your organization that is forwardthinking. Over time, the organization will know results in real-time with an eye on focusing energy toward improving upon those results, not simply explaining them. The path of least resistance is waiting for results to happen and attempting to explain them. An organizational transformation to a forward-thinking mindset may unleash the true value of the enterprise.
Inspire Solutions: Armed with data from the previous month and an enlightened team, collaborating on solutions for the upcoming three months should foster inspired targeted results. Create a culture that holds teammates accountable for past results, yet lifts their spirits with group participation on solutions. If the group can craft answers for previous
Customer Experience Customer Service: By Richard John Cowell
should point the organization to greater and greater success on each and every new initiative. Process and content will be further refined and the success rate on deliverables should consistently improve. Over time, your team will “know the score” and hold each other accountable for delivering Plan for Success: As your team results in their respective areas progresses throughout the year, of expertise. more results should help to crystallize initiatives that are work- Do It All Over Again: This isn’t a ing and delete those that are one-and-done endeavor, this is not. By mid-year, this transforan ongoing process. The discimation of forward thinking pline of reviewing one month
issues, each team member has skin-in-the-game to ensure that the future results are met. Successful implementation and accountability begins to breed more and more solutions. It becomes an inspirational culture.
So How Would You Define It
Do customers know aspects of your business. what kind of service Excellent customer care should to expect? be embraced in every area; after • Do you regularly ask all, customers do not only judge customers about a business by their direct interwhat they expect? actions with it, but also on its • Is it easy for cusproducts, marketing and aftertomers to get in sales contact. Look at all aspects touch? of your business and ask your• Is your staff proper- self whether you provide good ly trained and compe- customer satisfaction in each tent in their work? area. This includes how your • Are queries, comcompany is presented, promoplaints and requests tions, communications, probresponded to in a lem resolving, improving servictimely manner? es and customer relationship • Are customers management. By seeing each involved in the devel- area through the eyes of a cusopment, feedback tomer you will better underand improvement stand how your entire business processes? can, and must, offer good quality service. Even if the answers to all these questions are already a At the end of the day the key to resounding “yes”, there are setting and maintaining high always things every business levels of customer service is to can do to improve their cusensure that all staff members at tomer satisfaction. It should every level have the right trainalways be remembered that ing and development. Creating customer service is not only a culture where customer satisabout those five or ten minutes faction can thrive starts with that a customer is in store or good management and leadertalking to a member of the ship and clear processes for team; it encompasses all enhancing service delivery.
Success Strategies By Andrew Horton here are so many definitions around the word success; so many in fact that I feel the word has really become extremely overused. The traditional understanding society has associated with success, refers to how much money someone earns or how much wealth they have managed to accumulate. Is that what success means to you or is becoming successful all about inviting meaning, fulfillment, happiness, joy, grace and satisfaction into your experience. The thing, which has stood out for me the most, as I have travelled down the path towards my own unique definition of success, is that once I knew what success really meant to me. Attracting exactly that into my experience, still required wok, but the work became fun and enjoyable. In other words, once you know exactly what you want, attracting just that feels effortless. Incredibly as I have grown and become more, I have not only attracted the life of my dreams, but also attracted abundant wealth into my experience.
Success - How Do You Know You Have find the former to be more desirable. However wealth in the absence of family, friends, health or happiness is pointless. The success I want you to uncover is obviously unique to you and your own circumstance. The challenge when attracting the success you desire into your experience is based on how you can gain great abundance (not just money), but not at the expense of your emotional or physical wealth. You must find a way to reach your financial and career goals without making your relationships with your children or spouses the sacrificial lambs. You must also guard your health, your mind and nurture all the relationships you have with the important people in your life.
Success needs Health You must find the way to realizing all your goals around abundance without sacrificing the abundant health that is all of our birth rights. There is not a person alive that would not give every cent they own to regain their good health when they are Life is about Meaning, diagnosed with terminal disFulfillment and Grace. ease. The same is also true for Yes, to be truly successful you those individuals that have lost need to be clear on exactly the love of their spouse or chilwhat you want to achieve. I dren as a result of their eagerhave tried life both with and ness to pursue financial gain or without wealth and definitely material riches.
Action is the foundational key to all success. Pablo Picasso
Financial success achieved at the expense of the rest of your life is empty and pointless Don’t become one of those people that are so busy pursuing wealth that you lose sight of what your True Life Purpose is and miss out on relishing in the joys that life has to offer. Remember that living every day of your life fully makes the journey worthwhile, it is crucial to create a successful and fulfilling balance in all seven areas of your life. Action Idea: Sit and imagine yourself at the end of your life. What actions, people or things would you like to have done more or less of? What would you have liked to have done more of? What would have liked to have done less of? Wow isn’t it amazing you have the rest of your life to live, right now, why waste another minute doing things that you will regret later and more importantly why are you not doing more of what you love doing. Live every moment that life offers you, live on purpose and mostly, just love the journey and LIVE. Life is a series of trade offs and every wasted moment is spent forever. Time and therefore your life are traded for the things you choose to do. You have an incredible privilege right now, that privilege is awareness. Use that awareness to create the life of your dreams and have no regrets about what you did with your precious life. You have had the benefit of imagining yourself at the end of your life. You do not need to have any regrets about having the ability to go back in time to change things; you are in the NOW and can create things exactly the way you want them to be. Make the different decisions right now that you would have wished you could have made if you really were at the end of your life right now.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
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THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
VisualArts With Art21, Lagos as ‘art destination’ is real The missing synergy between art content and its space in the contemporary Nigerian art environment may have been discovered as a new outlet, Art Twenty One revs up the potential of Lagos as the art hub of Africa in the 21st century. By Tajudeen Sowole RT Twenty One, situated inside the exA panded wing of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos, according to its promoters, is designed to lift the city as an ‘art destination’. Starting with sculptor and designer, Olu Amoda’s metal works, which is currently showing for the next three weeks, Art Twenty One offers relief to artists whose works of huge sizes hardly found enough ventilation for expression in most of the existing art galleries in Lagos. As vibrant as the Lagos art scene is, the lack of space for the local art community to constantly engage with the rest of the world has been a missing link in the contemporary practice. Big cities across the world that know the value of visual arts in promoting tourism explore events such as biennale, art fair or art expo named after a host city as a brand, all of which are currently missing in Nigeria. In the absence of any of such events, Art Twenty One joins the Bisi Silva-led centre for contemporary Art (ccA), Sabo, Yaba, Lagos, which attracts foreign artists, curators and others. Indeed, ccA, since its entry into the Lagos art landscape in 2007, has continued to attract foreign visitors to Lagos via diverse art programmes, within the moderate space available. For Art Twenty One, art promotion and management could take a step further from, perhaps redefining what an art gallery should be in this digital age. “Art Twenty One is not an art gallery”, the founder and curator, caline chagoury cautioned during a chat at the preview of the opening. Having emotively cleared the air that “it is a platform”, chagoury explained that it aspires to be “the lynch pit” of the Lagos art communities. Lagos, she noted, has all it takes to be a “destination for the arts kEcHI and Nduka Abii are N mother and son artists whose joint solo art exhibition titled Genes Apart opened few days ago at VcP Hotel, Victoria Island, Lagos. While the work of Nkechi exudes the traditional form in painting, mixed media and relief sculpture, Nduka takes imagery into the future in his renditions on canvas as well as digital painting. The exhibition, for Nkechi, a 1983 graduate of Fine Art, University of Nigeria (UNN), Nsukka, is the first of many efforts ahead of recovering her first profession after several decades. She said “I have been a fashion designer immediately after graduating, but now picking art again”. Nduka, who is currently a student of animation art at colombus college of Art and Design, Ohio, U.S., is, apparently looking forward to a career in art, either at home or in the Diaspora. In works such as Scavengers and Omiebele, Nkechi attempts to recover her skills in draughtsmanship as her themes rove over leadership and the spirituality that links man and life after death. Some of the works also show that she has not completely lost her sculptural skills to the over two decades of break from art. For example, Nkechi brings a life size bust into a tragic theme, paying
Olu Amoda’s Tax Collectors’s Eye, sculpted in assemblage of stainless table spoons. just like Paris, New York, London, and even Dubai”, as there is a surge of talents in young Nigerians doing new things across various disciplines of the culture sector. However, as Amoda’s art is relieved of the thirst of space, courtesy of the new outlet, it does appear that there is a prize to pay: a struggle to wrestle attention from the emphasis, in promotional context, given the new art outlet. For example, the theme of Amoda’s exhibition is obscured, buried in the bottom paragraph of the Artist Statement; not a single line in the curator’s or the official statement of Art Twenty One acknowledges the existence of a theme for the massive works of Amoda. What exactly is in a theme of an art exhibition, anyway? Yes, the title of a show says so much, the artist explained as he traced the
body of work to his last two solo outings Cequel and Cequel 1a, which held at University of Ibadan, Oyo State and The Wheatbaker Hotel, Ikoyi within a spate of few months interval in late 2011 and early 2012. Amoda’s Cequel is coined from ‘sequel’, a continuum, which the artist expresses in metallic narrative, bringing his favourite literary titles into visual contents. For the Cequels series, there are shadows of Prof Wole Soyinka’s classic play Death and the King’s Horseman (Iku 0lokun Esin) and George Orwell’s novel Animal Farm. Amoda disclosed that the current show titled Cequel II: a Shifting of a Few Poles “collapses” the entire concept of the sequels into one. Did Amoda deliberately surrender the expected prominence of his exhibition’s theme
to the dominance of the space’s hype? The answer is buried in his Artist Statement, which explains that the melting of the series was made possible “with the intervention of Art Twenty One”. With his explanation, the coup of the artist and the space against the theme is better understood. Whether or not a theme of an exhibition – as crucial as it is to the entire body of work – should be sacrificed on the altar of promoting a new space may be an issue to resolve in the future by art administrators and brand experts. With Cequel II: a Shifting of a Few Poles, Amoda asserts his bravery in navigating through the wilderness of metals, creating drawings and painterly images that raise the bar in contemporary Nigerian practice. As it was in the last two series, thematically, Amoda maintains his vehemence on the declining state of the Nigerian nation. He expresses such, for example in one of the works titled Tax Collectors’s Eye, depicting governments’ inevitable guillotine-taste for revenue generation. His visual narrative-wrath in the work– apparently in solidarity with the taxpayers – strategically placed at the right distance of the space is an assemblage of stainless table spoons, sculpted together in round shape. The artist who has lived and worked in Lagos for nearly three decades or more described tax collectors as “vultures” who “extort” from the people daily. The central point of the work, an eye, he said, explains the “agony” that people go through paying tax in Lagos for example. Although Amoda uses Lagos, his residence as a reference, but the reality is that taxation and revenue are recurring issues across the world, even in the developed countries: nobody like the face of tax collector. Further, in a drawing on metal piece titled Before the Ritual Suicide, Amoda dragged the British colonialists into the ring of history, charged and prosecuted them from “my personal interpretation, not the literary” perspective of Death and the King’s Horseman. He disagreed with the British colonialists’ interest in “controlling your personal life”. From Amoda’s solo Objects of Art, at Didi Museum in 2008 to Cequels Ia, his art shrunk to the size of available space, but got so much of the long-denied ventilation such that the walls and even the floor of Art Twenty One were nearly choked up with so many works.
Mother, son… in Genes Apart Tribute to Aluu 4, the University of Port Harcourt students lynched to death over an alleged stealing. The artist was touched by the barbaric act: “When I see the video of four young students who got burnt at Alu, words fail me… but my painting helps me grieve”. With matured strokes, Nduka extracts from the runway, in a three piece monochromatic of ladies titled Black Widows, which he likens to a female spider of the same name. As the artist has his eyes focused on the future, having designed cD covers of music for quite some Nigerian artists, Uduka also uses his canvas to project the ambition of young people on the streets of Lagos. This much he captures in Lofty, a lad in hands-akimbo posture silhouetted on the rough side of streets. The kid, Nduka explains “feels like taking on the world now or later”. And stressing the increasing role of technology in imagery, Nduka displayed his skill in painting using the digital format he tagged Pollue Speed Painting. Nkechi’s art content, largely, is based on her emotive response to issues within her immediate environment. “I am easily affected by things that happen around me and
feel deeply about people, situations and opportunities, however I have found that the best way of dealing with frustrating experiences that get thrown at me daily is not by speaking about them but by painting!” For digital boy, Nduka, he would maintain his respect for the traditional painting format. He disagreed that he is a “modernist with strengths” just the digital art. “That is not entirely true. My origins are just as traditional as others. I started with a pencil and then a paint brush. I remember doing the wall murals in my secondary school as my parting gift, soon after I won the school the first position in the chemical and Allied company (cAP), Plc’s Dulux Art competition for secondary schools. That was a long time ago. A lot has changed and yet, not much has changed.” Nduka could not recall when exactly he started painting, “but I know that there has been a quick evolution from my mural days to new and exciting artistic expressions.” He noted that each of his projects “is a journey and consists of multiple works, often in a range of different media, grouped around Works from Nkechi and Nduka’s joint exhibition specific themes and meanings.”
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Heritage With workshop, NICO rejigs culture reporting By Florence Utor HE role of media in society cannot be over emphasised. Not only does it mirrors, it also informs, educates and entertains the society. As the fourth estate of the realm, the media helps to strengthen constituent fabrics of the society. Recently, the media, as a tool for effective cohesion, has received criticisms because of the economic variables that have made it not live up to expectation. Many hold the opinion that it has become commersialised, and practitioners are only interested in news or issues that are hot, and can sell their papers. The fallout of such assertions influenced the ninth training workshop organised by National Institute for Cultural Orientation (NICO) for media workers, which held at the National Institute of International Affairs (NIIA), Victoria Island. Themed Culture as a panacea in the peaceful coexistence of a multi-ethnic nation: The role of the Media, the workshop attracted papers from media experts and academics. Among those who spoke were Prof. Foluke Ogunleye of Media Arts at the Department of Dramatic Arts, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife; Alvan Ewuzie, Associate Editor of The Sun Newspapers, and Jahman Anikulapo, former Editor of The Guardian on Sunday. In his welcome address, Executive Secretary, National Institute For Cultural Orientation (NICO), Dr. Barclays Foubiri Ayakoroma, expressed concern that Nigeria’s multi-ethnic and religious composition have been a serious challenge to national development. According to him, it is disheartening to note that over five decades after the country’s political independence, many Nigerians still hold attachment to their ethnic background at the expense of national unity. “Rather than celebrate our unique cultural identities, emphases are still placed on our ethnic and cultural differences,” he noted. “It is the contention of peace and development experts that the present ethnic, political and religious intolerance in Nigeria could be best addressed if the media is encouraged to play a vital role in educating the citizenry on the immense benefits of embracing peaceful co-existence.” He noted that the media could help promote and project the country’s rich cultural heritage and values — honesty, hardwork, sanctity of human life, respect for elders and constituted authority, unity in diversity and love for fatherland. Ayakoroma said, “NICO would sustain the platform that was conceptualised in 2010 for arts writers and editors to have robust interaction, exchange ideas and engage in peer review in order to enhance their overall professional competence, which is of critical importance to nation building.” He said NICO has plans to upgrade it as one of its core programmes, in appreciation of the strategic role of the media in the promotion of the country’s cherished cultural values. “We have also concluded plans to expand the scope of the programme to give recognition and awards to deserving arts writers and editors for their outstanding contributions to our cultural development,” he said. Ewuzie sees the training workshop as coming at an auspicious time given the security challenges that face the nation, which have thrown it in bad light in the international community. He said, “Nigeria is sadly besieged by wanton destruction of lives and property in such alarming proportions that compares with a nation at war. These security infractions have largely been sectarian. Boundary disputes and sundry misunderstanding have also escalated to the point of loss of lives.” Though for a country as diverse and populous as Nigeria with over 50 languages and over 250 dialects and ethnic groups, the term peaceful coexistence may not come easy, he urged the media to play a cautious and conscious role in its reportage to foster national unity rather than escalate the situation. “It is pertinent to show that culture can and does build bridges of unity and the media forms a vital fulcrum in propagating this instrument of cohesion,” he said.
Ewuzie cited the example of antagonistic contradiction principle that communism and capitalism could never coexist in peace, and how their decision in 1972 to establish a trade relationship with the United States also saw China cautiously adopting a version of the theory to relationships between itself and non-socialist countries in the developing world. From that point to the early 1980s, through its brand of socialism, China increasingly extended its own peaceful coexistence concept to include all nations, Ewuzie revealed. According to him, “as art writers, reporters and editors, we must steer clear of the misconception that culture borders on indigenous dance, masquerades and the like. The point has been made that it is a wide berth, encompassing the totality of life of a people.” He continued, “though we concentrate on the arts in our reportage, we ought to know that culture goes beyond the arts. We shall soon see aspects of cultural cross-fertilisation in our country as well as differences that calls for our conscious understanding and deliberate explanation to readers, listeners and viewers. The critical thing here is to note that culture is all encompassing and stretches beyond the seemingly narrow prism of our reportage, an explanation we owe and ought to pass down to our audience.” Ewuzie sees the role of culture being undermined, and as a result, the sector also undermined. He, however, harped on force of ‘coercion’, which the media has in the generation of interest and performance. He said, “the media has the latent power to bring up issues to public attention and thus cause desired changes in such sector.” Ewuzie continued, in matter relating to culture, media practitioners, especially reporters in that sector owe the public and political office holders a duty to correct the erroneous impression that culture begins and ends with drumming, singing and dancing. “It is far more than that as we have seen in our definition. In a nation challenged by security infractions such as we have, the media should bring to public attention the efficacy of deploying cultural events in fostering unity amongst the multi ethnic groups with the same potency as football. We must not let the political authorities denigrate and look down on cultural events, as they have tended to do,” he explained. Citing the example of the yearly National Festival of Arts (NAFEST), he said, “since 1990, no president or head of state has attended the opening ceremony, a pointer to their rating of the cultural festival. Some times, governors whose states are hosting the event would leave town and delegate deputies and other officials to attend. Yet such governors would fly across continents to watch football matches involving the national team or boxing events. For the avoidance of doubt, I hold nothing against such support, but the same treatment ought to be extended to cultural events. They hold the same unifying effect as football.” According to him, “the dynamic nature of culture encourages crossbreed such as has made the culture of certain parts of the country to evolve in other parts. A ready example is the Aso ebi, which is largely a culture of the Yoruba of southwest Nigeria. It is a practice where members of a family and their friends are identified in parties and social events by uniformity of dressing. Today, this culture has evolved in many parts of the country, especially in the southeast where it bears same name. Such cultural crossbreeding should be consciously pointed out by the media and encouraged. As the saying goes, it is the firewood in your land that cooks your food.” He ended his presentation with recommendations that, among other issues, the media should throw up poor funding of the culture sector as a debilitating factor and make an issue of it, get the political authorities to know that cultures is beyond drumming and dancing and has potency of a uniting factor if well funded; art and culture writers should make a yearly and well publicised rating of culture friendly states as a means of engendering competition among states.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26 2013
Theatre By Omiko Awa T was Hannah Cowley, the foremost English Iunveil dramatist and poet, who, while trying to the mystery of her fellow woman, said, “what is woman? Only one nature’s agreeable blunder.” This, perhaps, may have suggested why the average woman is seen as a blunder by men and that they do not know what they want. And Diana Ross, American singer, in her longplaying record, ‘I want muscles’ must have confirmed this. Another, reason for men to draw conclusion that the desire of muscle is of utmost importance in the mind of the woman. The Performing Arts Workshop and Studio (PAWS), in collaboration with Terra Kulture, recently presented Anatomy Of A Woman written by Wole Oguntokun and directed by Kenneth Uphopho. The play centres on the big question — What does a woman want? The drama opens with a lady protest when a man asks her for sex simply because he took her to the cinema. Action later moves to the room of Bolatito, a sassy working class lady, beset by three suitors — Mohammed, Chief and Austin — seeking to have her to themselves. Bolatito, while growing up, loved Mohammed, a never-do-well, whose dream was to make it big in his music career. Bolatito secures a better job and parts ways with him. Ten years after, Mohammed still nursing his bigger than life dream of making it big, traces his former love to her luxurious apartment in Lagos, and for old times’ sake, the lady accommodates him. Chief, a stinking rich businessman, fancies
Three suitors, one bride in Anatomy Of A Woman… Bolatito’s beauty. He idolises her intelligence and beauty, and is ready to do anything for her hand in marriage. He rents and tastily furnishes a flat for her in a choice area of the city, aside from showering her with expensive gifts, including a state-of-the-art car. Chief is also generous with his money. Bolatito also has Austin, an egghead, who though rich, believes in being the best in ones career. He works for a blue chip company and by virtue of hard work has risen to be the head of his organisation. To keep the three lovers, Bolatito is always on her wits; she tells chief, who on several occasions has seen Mohammed in the house, that his music player boyfriend is her maternal cousin and a neurotic person. She would tell Austin that Chief is her boss in the office and has come to her house for official matters. Game changes when Aunty Jebe visits Bolatito. Worried that her niece is getting no younger and yet single, she begins to talk to her into getting married and settling down, since she is rich and beautiful; but the lady has no such plans. She wants to lead an independent life and enjoy her freedom. Seeing Mohammed as a leech and a misfit for her niece, Aunty Jebe would do anything
including fighting to make him leave her niece, but he wouldn’t. She, however, ignores Mohammed when she comes in contact with Chief, who gives her huge sums of money each time he comes around for her to influence Bolatito to marry him. With the emergence of Austin, Aunty Jebe changes her opinion of Chief. She prefers the corporate man, who is heading a multinational company. Examining closely who to settle down with, Bolatito in a flash sees Mohammed not being too sure of marriage and still lives in a dreamland. For Chief, she sees herself being turned to a full housewife, with the responsibilities of producing babies and keeping the house. While with Austin, she sees a bright beginning that fizzles out with Austin asking her to resign from work to keep the home and marriage, especially as he has been transferred out of his station. Imagining all these, Bolatito says no to marriage, as she wants to live her life the way she wants it. Not knowing exactly what is in the wrong, the three lovers ask, “what does a woman want?” question that forms the theme of the play. With this theme, Oguntokun brings to the
front burner the issues of young African ladies that have chosen to remain single, even when they have everything going for them. It highlights the importance of marriage in the African society while showing that the idea of wanting to be independent or single is foreign and seriously frowned at. It also shows how every member of the family get worried whenever anyone chooses to be single. Not supporting double-dealing, the play points out that a woman has the right to choose who she wants to marry or work to earn a living as well as enjoy the good things of life. In no little way, it rebuffs the idea that every man-woman relationship has sexual undertone, as both are free to relate. Setting the traditional against the modern, Oguntokun reveals that societies around the world are changing and that the period where a woman, for the sake of keeping to the existing social norms, go into a marriage she will end up regretting for the rest of her life are gone, and that she, as partaker, should be allowed to decide who to marry. If there is none that would make her enjoy a fulfilled marital bliss, and contribute to the community, she should be allowed to enjoy her freedom as a single if she chooses.
A scene from the play
‘Why NCC is investing in capacity building for stakeholders’ By Gbenga Salau N order for lawyers to be better prepared to deal with copyright laws and the workings of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), the copyright agency through its Nigerian Copyright Institute, organised a two-day training for lawyers to provide them with the basic knowhow on copyright laws. Some of the topics considered at the training programme included an overview of Nigeria Copyright Law, General principles, Forensic Examination of Recent Copyright decisions in Nigeria,
Regulatory framework, administrative schemes, right management and contractual issues and copyright piracy and enforcement issues and an appraisal of copyright practice in Nigeria and the evolving role of the legal practitioner. Resource persons included John Asein, Chris Nkwocha, MDA Ojo and Obi Ezeilo. In his welcome address, Director General of the Nigerian Copyright Commission (NCC), Mr. Afam Ezekude said that the copyright sector in Nigeria had tremendous potentials which could best be realised if all players were better informed
and equipped to deliver on their mandates and responsibilities. He argued that the role of lawyers was critical to the use of copyright system as a tool of development and sustainable growth of the industry, stating that as a policy, the commission was dedicated to promoting efficiency and better service delivery in all sectors of the creative industries. He submitted, “Nigeria is endowed with enormous talents in all areas of creativity but experience has shown that mere talents do not always translate to prosperity. They must be properly harnessed and managed.
Bank support for Nollywood Studies Centre of PAU UARANTY Trust Bank plc, G one of Nigeria’s foremost financial institutions, recently announced its support for The Nollywood Studies Centre of the School of Media and Communication, Pan African University. The support for the center by the Bank is guaranteed for one year at the first instance based on the memorandum of understanding signed with the school. Known as GTBank Nollywood Studies Centre, it is designed to be a one-stop resource centre providing research materials to artistes, scriptwriters, producers, journalists, researchers and film festival programmers on the rich
heritage of the Nigerian movie industry. It will also serve to project the African story telling culture and the unique contribution of Nigeria to global film production. Speaking on the initiative, the Managing Director of Guaranty Trust Bank plc, Mr. Segun Agbaje, stated that the support for the centre is consistent with the Bank’s objective of promoting African Art in all its ramifications. He said the Centre, which is the first of its kind in the world, would provide a comprehensive and reliable source of information on the Nigerian movie industry. Guaranty Trust Bank plc has maintained a defined
Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) strategy since its inception in 1990. The Bank actively supports numerous programmes across Africa that positively affect child healthcare, education, the Art, Community Development and environmental sustainability. Its most recent projects in art include the GTBank – Tate partnership that seeks to promote African Artists and their works globally, the sponsorship of Yinka Shonibare’s Art Exhibition in West Yorkshire, UK and a film project called the African Metropolis aimed at promoting short films across Africa.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
ArtHouse Ehikhamenor exhibits new body of work
HE poet-painter, Victor Ehikhamenor’s new body of work T titled, Amusing the Muse, opens at Temple Muse, Victoria Island, Lagos on Sunday, April 28. The show will last for six weeks.
Man Talk, Woman Talk on Sunday
OLLOWING the successful presentation of Zulu Sofola’s The FMultimedia, Wizard of Law during the Easter break, Davidhouse Amber 11 Media and the Spruce Company will on April 28 stage Ola Rotimi’s Man Talk, Woman Talk at the New Unity Centre, 28 Isaac John Avenue, Ikeja GRA, beside Visafone and opposite Ruff and Tumble.
Nigeria photography Expo begins on April 29
Nigerian Photography Expo and Conference 2013 TPutHE (NiPHEC) holds from April 29 to May 2 in Lagos. together by eloPhotos Academy includes seminars, photography classes, exhibitions and master classes and it also aims at enhancing the skills of professional and amateur photographers. Kelechi Amadi-Obi, Yetunde Babaeko, Ayo Animashaun, Jide Alakija, Leke Adenuga from Nigeria; Joe McNally, Michael Grecco and others from the United States of America as facilitators. One of the attractions at the event will be the unveiling of Africa’s first blind photographer, Taivis.
Visual poetry for exhibition
.S-BASED artist, Tunde Afolayan’s Visual Poetry, a solo art U exhibition of paintings at Watersworth that started in March, ends tomorrow at the Art Gallery in Lekki Phase 1, Lekki,
Installation arts for exhibition
Fashion installation by Gozi-led U.Mi-1 will be showARTingand at Freedom Park from April 30 to May 12.
Martell, Italian Consulate, Kinabuti hold Milan Fashion Week
ARTELL, one of the renowned cognac houses in the world, M produced by Pernod Ricard, will be presenting Milan Fashion Week featuring the launch of Kinabuti’s “Vlisco Carnival in the Desert” collection in Lagos. Pernod Ricard, which has rapidly expanded through both organic growth and acquisitions over the past decade into Africa and has recently opened an affiliate office in Nigeria, will be using the event being hosted by the Consulate General of Italy in Nigeria, Mr. Stefano De Leo, to present its products into Nigerian market. -Compiled by Florence Utor
YMAA will boost culture, tourism in Oyo State, says Adeyemi HE Oyo State T Commissioner for Culture and Tourism, Princess Adetutu Ahigbe Adeyemi, has described the Yoruba Movie Academy Awards (YMAA) as an initiative to boost culture and tourism in the state. According to Adeyemi, Governor Abiola Ajimobi has a vision to develop the culture and tourism potentials of Oyo State through movies by leading the campaign to compliment the efforts of the practitioners in the Yoruba movie industry. A celebration of creativity amidst glamour and razzmatazz, the Yoruba Movie Academy Awards is scheduled to hold at the Cultural Centre, Ibadan, Oyo State.
“Oyo State is the pacesetter in the propagation and promotion of the rich culture and tradition of Yoruba with works from legendary artistes such as Moses Adejumo Olaiya (Baba Sala), the late Duro Ladipo, Kola Ogunmola and Oyin Adejobi and several others. The YMAA is aimed at boosting the culture and tourism potentials of the state through the emotional connect and overwhelming popularity of Yoruba movies across the world,” Adeyemi said. Entries for this edition officially closed on Sunday April 21, with producers besieging the film submission centres across the southwest to submit their films. Eligible films are those released from January to December 2012 by members of Yoruba Video Films Producers and Marketers Association of Nigeria (YOVIFPMAN), independent producers and films premiered or shown in cinemas within the same period. Tunde Oshinibosi aka Laface, executive producer of YMAA, commended the efforts of Governor Ajimobi in leading the campaign for a more economically viable Yoruba movie industry. The award is a collaboration between Yoruba Movie Awards Limited, Oyo State Ministry of Culture and Tourism, and Broadcasting Corporation of Oyo State (BCOS).
Argungu fishing festival
Club honours Achebe today with book reading S a mark of honour for the late A Nigerian author and towering man of letters, Prof. Chinua Achebe, who died on Friday, March 22, in Boston, United States, the Rainbow Book Club will read his Things Fall Apart today. The internationally acclaimed fiction helped to revive African literature and to rewrite the story of a continent that had long been told by Western voices. Achebe, who was an honorary member of the Club, will be buried in Ogidi, Anambra State, on May 23. A memorial service and Celebration of Life event will hold on June 2, in Washington DC. Already, an international committee that has Nobel laureate, Bishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, has been set up for the burial. Other members of the committee are Nadine Gordimer (South Africa); Toni Morrison (USA); Ruth Simmons, 18th President of Brown University and first black president of an Ivy League institution (USA) and Dr. Johnetta Cole, first African-American female president of Spelman College and currently Director of Smithsonian Institution’s National Museum of African Art. There is a Central National Committee made up of eminent Nigerians from the nook and crannies of the Federation as well as other Committee(s) to cover South East activities and events including Rivers State and Delta programmes and basic preparations at Enugu, Enugu State, Awka and Ogidi, Anambra State. On March 21, the Club joined the rest of the literary world to celebrate World Poetry Day. The event held at the poolside of Le Meridien, Ogeyi Place, Port Harcourt and had Mr. Ogbonge Poliktisan, an anthology of poems in Pidgin English by Dr. Anthony Abagha, as its Book of the Month. Abagha, an engineer by training,
described himself as a teacher, politician who branched into literature because of a teacher in his secondary school that made the subject entertaining. The evening was a blend of poetry, jazz and games with known Poets such as Dr
Obari Gomba, senior lecturer, University of Port Harcourt; Joy Esku, Sec. PEN and Treasurer ANA (both Rivers State Chapters); Annah Dornubari and budding poets like Tokoneh Kalango thrilling the audience.
PublishAmerica presents When You Look Back RITTEN by Mee, When You Look Back is a soulcharging collection of poetry. This emotional poetry is sensitive and deals with tender human issues, feelings and exhibits benevolence for other human beings. The sensitive style of her poetry is incredibly concerned in interpreting other people and their anguish, which reflects an enormous and impressive
soul and equally gentle heart of a caring, concerned human being which are hard to find these days. There are few souls who have humanity left in them. Mee is a native of Etinan in Akwa Ibom State. She graduated as a zoologist from the University of Calabar. She has been writing magnificent, compassionate poetry since she was 13. Her original poetry has been
published in anthologies, online and print which include Forward Press, Gilchrist Studios, Poetry Institute of Africa, Interpoetry, Diamond Cutters, Voicesnet, Ahapoetry, English/Italian poetry anthology, etc. She believes that “talent is the best recipe for success”. PublishAmerica is the home to about 50,000 talented authors. PublishAmerica is a traditional publishing company whose
primary goal is to encourage and promote the works of new, previously undiscovered writers. Like more mainstream publishers, PublishAmerica pays its authors advances and royalties and makes its books available through all book stores. PublishAmerica offers a distinctly personal, supportive alternative to vanity presses and less accessible publishers.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
AutoWheels KIA launches third-generation Cerato sedan Stories by Taiwo Hassan ANA Motors Limited, the sole distributors of KIA Motors in Nigeria, has launched the third-generation all-new 2013 KIA Cerato model into the Nigerian market. According to the company, the move to launch the 2013 KIA Cerato was because the model has demonstrated as KIA’s most successful brand, having achieved more than 2.5 million global sales since its introduction in 2004, including 445,000 units in 2011 alone, when the secondgeneration model debuted. Specifically, Cerato accounted for almost 18 per cent of KIA’s total worldwide sales. Speaking at the launching ceremony in Abuja, few days ago, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer of Dana Motors Limited, Sandeep Malhotra said the introduction of the all-new third-generation KIA Cerato sedan was for KIA to raise it bar in the competitive sedan segment in Nigeria. Malhotra noted that the Cerato model has demonstrated as a brand that can compete favourably with its contemporaries, not only in Nigeria, but worldwide, because of its fuel efficiency, durability and one-stop shop features. “Sporting a sleeker profile with futuristic and dynamic styling, the all-new Cerato sedan is longer, lower and wider than the current car and comes, with an extended wheelbase. “It features an all-new re-engineered body shell structure and boasts improved quality, upgraded equipment with a
host of additional convenience and safety features. “The Cerato has a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality, improved refinement and an upgraded powertrain line-up that delivers classleading fuel economy,” Malhotra added. Speaking on the car features, the marketing manager, Dana Motor, Kayode Adejumo said the KIA Cerato customers in Nigeria would be offered the popular 130 ps 1.6-liter Gamma engine. Some of it features, according to him, included: projectionstyle headlamps, power windows, power steering, trip computer, external temperature display, dual airbags, a radio/CD player with six speakers, smart key with push start button, 16” alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, high level brake light, upgraded cloth upholstery plus front and rear parking sensors. He however said the second generation Cerato, which provided generous accommodation for people and cargo space has been enhanced, pointing out that “passengers will find increased front headroom and legroom, while shoulder room too is
2013 KIA Cerato improved. The interior design of new Cerato concentrates on sportiness and adopts nature’s ebbs and flows as a motif. The driver-focused cockpit places all the major and minor controls within easy-to-operate reach. For enhanced elegance, softtouch materials are applied to the upper door trims, dashboard, door armrests, door
center trim panels and the center console. The stiffer bodyshell and new vibration-damping front sub frame mountings are an excellent foundation for minimising NVH. Every all-new Cerato model will feature a six-speed transmission as KIA continues to upgrade the specification of its products to meet or sur-
pass customers’ ever-rising expectations. Drivers are offered a choice of manual or multi-mode automatic gearboxes. To reduce fuel consumption and lower CO2 emissions when cruising at speed, both the six-speed transmissions feature high top-gear ratios. The latest generation Cerato’s new manual gearbox fea-
Auto companies to display latest vehicles at Lagos fair utomobile companies A have indicated their readiness to showcase the latest commercial vehicles and trucks at the forthcoming eighth Lagos Motor fair. According to the organisers, the need to showcase the newest vehicles was borne out of the growing demand
for durable and efficient commercial vehicles and trucks by logistics and business entrepreneurs in the country. Some of the automobile companies expected at the fair are: Leventis Motors, distributor of Volkswagen and Eicher brands, National
Trucks Manufacturers (NTM), the nation’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer and, First Automobile Workshop, distributor of FAW trucks and buses. The companies have pledged to showcase commercial vehicles and trucks such as: light and heavy duty trucks,
tractor heads, tippers, trailers heads, tankers, cargo trucks, garbage trucks, 30-seater commercial buses and PickUps. Chairman of the organising committee for the Lagos fair, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu said that their presence at the fair was vital to the development
Toyota Nigeria showcases fourth generation RAV4 OyOTA Nigeria Limited (TNL) has unveiled the allnew-fourth generation Recreational Activity Vehicle (RAV4) into the Nigerian market. The launch of the new 2.0litre engine 2013 RAV4 marked another milestone in country’s competitive automotive business, especially in the mid-size SUV segment. Speaking at the RAV4 launching ceremony in Lagos, few days ago, the chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade Ojo said that the SUV was yet another masterpiece from the stable of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Japan to the Nigerian market. Ojo said the introduction of series of the state-of-the-art models at regular intervals was a key part of the company’s philosophy to meet customers’ expectation in the current global and local markets. He said that, the company’s ultimate goal in this direction is to increase the options available to its customers in the SUV segment and generally stimulating healthy competition in the market place. “From its trendier exterior to the spacious interior design, the latest model will readily arouse in its freaks a driving
tures a smoother shifting performance, enhanced efficiency (reducing fuel consumption), and greater durability. KIA’s automatic in new Cerato is the world’s most compact six-speed transmission and can boost fuel economy by up to 12 per cent – compared with a regularsized conventional automatic.
pleasure that is unparalleled in its class. Indeed, it is a remarkable package of safety, comfort and performance in equal proportion. “The all-new RAV4 will not only fulfill customers midsize SUV expectations, it will also give them value for their
2013 Toyota RAV4
hard-earned money. It takes a bold step forward not only in the more appealing design statement, it is also more realistically priced,” he added. According to him, the Toyota RAV4 was not new to both the local and interna-
tional markets because it debuted about two decades ago. He added that the RAV4 was a key Toyota model which evolved from the rich heritage of Toyota unmatchable superior quality engineering.
Ojo said that, for the board and management of TNL, the drive to surpass the expectations of buying public at all times is what stimulates the 16-year-old manufacturer’s representative in the country to continually push the borderlines of technology to the benefit of all stakeholders in
of the nation’s automobile and ECOWAS markets for safe and convenient transfer of goods and people. “We will delight our existing and potential customers with the best of modern trucks as well showcase variants of our tropicalised trucks at the fair ground. Trucks now, combine the features of workforce with luxury machines. With the modern facilities in trucks, driving trucks is akin to driving executive limousines.” Also, on parade in the luxury cars and buses category will be auto companies like Toyota Nigeria Limited with Toyota brands of automobiles and spare parts, Stallion Motors with its brands of Honda, Audi, Porsche, Hyundai, Skoda, Mahindra and Volkswagen products; while KIA Motors will showcase the latest in the KIA family. From the lubricant section, Mobil, Oando, Coin Ventures and Lubcon Limited will be exhibiting the best in engine oils and transmission fluids. International Energy Insurance (IEI) will lead the financial sectors while Rosabon Nigeria Limited will showcase the best in fleet management and the National Automotive Council (NAC) will lead the government sector at the event. He said: “These companies have resolved to keep faith with their potential and existing customers as they have packaged series of offers ranging from budget cars to good pricing, special fair rebates and promotions, responsive customer care services and lots of supporting benefits for their customers to keep on driving the car on their dream. All these they promised to unveiled at the show ground.”
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
KIA launches third-generation Cerato sedan Stories by Taiwo Hassan ANA Motors Limited, the sole distributors of KIA Motors in Nigeria, has launched the third-generation all-new 2013 KIA Cerato model into the Nigerian market. According to the company, the move to launch the 2013 KIA Cerato was because the model has demonstrated as KIA’s most successful brand, having achieved more than 2.5 million global sales since its introduction in 2004, including 445,000 units in 2011 alone, when the second-generation model debuted. Specifically, Cerato accounted for almost 18 per cent of KIA’s total worldwide sales. Speaking at the launching ceremony in Abuja, few days ago, the company’s Chief Commercial Officer of Dana Motors Limited, Sandeep Malhotra said the introduction of the all-new third-generation KIA Cerato sedan was for KIA to raise it bar in the competitive sedan segment in Nigeria. Malhotra noted that the Cerato model has demonstrated as a brand that can compete favourably with its contemporaries, not only in Nigeria, but worldwide, because of its fuel efficiency, durability and onestop shop features. “Sporting a sleeker profile with futuristic and dynamic styling, the all-new Cerato sedan is longer, lower and wider than the current car and comes, with an extended wheelbase. “It features an all-new re-engineered body shell structure and boasts improved quality, upgraded equipment with a host of additional convenience and safety features. “The Cerato has a more spacious cabin with enhanced quality, improved refinement and an upgraded powertrain line-up that delivers class-leading fuel economy,” Malhotra added. Speaking on the car features, the marketing manager, Dana
Motor, Kayode Adejumo said the KIA Cerato customers in Nigeria would be offered the popular 130 ps 1.6-liter Gamma engine. Some of it features, according to him, included: projectionstyle headlamps, power windows, power steering, trip computer, external temperature display, dual airbags, a radio/CD player with six speakers, smart key with push start button, 16” alloy wheels, LED daytime running lights, high level brake light, upgraded cloth upholstery plus front and rear parking sensors. He however said the second generation Cerato, which provided generous accommodation for people and cargo space has been enhanced, pointing out that “passengers will find increased front headroom and legroom, while shoulder room too is improved. The interior design of new Cerato concentrates on sportiness and adopts nature’s ebbs and flows as a motif. The driver-focused cockpit places all the major and minor controls within easy-to-operate reach. For enhanced elegance, softtouch materials are applied to the upper door trims, dashboard, door armrests, door center trim panels and the
2013 KIA Cerato center console. The stiffer bodyshell and new vibration-damping front sub
frame mountings are an excellent foundation for minimising NVH. Every all-new Cerato model
will feature a six-speed transmission as KIA continues to upgrade the specification of its products to meet or surpass
ABC Transport expands operations with new fleets HE management of ABC T Transport Plc has stated the first phase of its fleet expansion programme, with the injection of 24 new coaches. Besides, the first batch of nine fleets had already been delivered, while the remaining batch 15 fleets are due for delivery in the country in August. According to the company, the move to expand its fleets was because of the remarkable improvement in road condition nationwide. This has given rise to shorter travel time and culminated in
the return of many passengers to coach travels. The company’s expansion programme has seen customers enjoying timely departures and early arrivals on a daily basis. The management explained that the current brand of ABC coaches are equipped with surveillance monitoring camera for security purposes onboard and with speed limiters for speed controls. The management added that ABC Shuttle Service, a short distance intercity operation, has equally received a boost
from the ongoing fleet expansion with the purchased of 33 new Toyota Hiace mini buses, which will be deployed before the end of the year, to aug-
ment the existing fleets plying the South East and SouthSouth routes. As part of its safety tradition, the management announced
Recreational Activity Vehicle (RAV4) into the Nigerian market. The launch of the new 2.0litre engine 2013 RAV4 marked another milestone in country’s competitive automotive business, especially in the mid-size SUV segment. Speaking at the RAV4 launching ceremony in Lagos, few days ago, the chairman, Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade Ojo said that the SUV was yet another masterpiece from the stable of Toyota Motor Corporation (TMC), Japan to the Nigerian market. Ojo said the introduction of series of the state-of-the-art models at regular intervals was a key part of the company’s philosophy to meet customers’ expectation in the current global and local markets. He said that, the company’s ultimate goal in this direction is to increase the options available to its customers in the SUV segment and generally stimulating healthy competition in the market place. “From its trendier exterior to the spacious interior design, the latest model will readily arouse in its freaks a driving
pleasure that is unparalleled in its class. Indeed, it is a remarkable package of safety, comfort and performance in equal proportion. “The all-new RAV4 will not only fulfill customers midsize SUV expectations, it will also give them value for their
2013 Toyota RAV4
hard-earned money. It takes a bold step forward not only in the more appealing design statement, it is also more realistically priced,” he added. According to him, the Toyota RAV4 was not new to both the local and international markets because it debuted about
plans to honour 100 drivers and attendants who did not record any accident within the operational year 2012 by the end of the month.
Auto companies pledge to unveil latest vehicles at Lagos fair utomobile companies A have indicated their readiness to showcase the latest commercial vehicles and trucks at the forthcoming eighth Lagos Motor fair. According to the organisers, the need to showcase the newest vehicles was borne out of the growing demand
for durable and efficient commercial vehicles and trucks by logistics and business entrepreneurs in the country. Some of the automobile companies expected at the fair are: Leventis Motors, distributor of Volkswagen and Eicher brands, National Trucks Manufacturers (NTM), the
Toyota Nigeria unveils fourth generation RAV4 into auto market OyOTA Nigeria Limited T (TNL) has unveiled the allnew-fourth generation
customers’ ever-rising expectations. Drivers are offered a choice of manual or multimode automatic gearboxes.
two decades ago. He added that the RAV4 was a key Toyota model which evolved from the rich heritage of Toyota unmatchable superior quality engineering. Ojo said that, for the board and management of TNL, the
drive to surpass the expectations of buying public at all times is what stimulates the 16-year-old manufacturer’s representative in the country to continually push the borderlines of technology to the benefit of all stakeholders in the industry.
nation’s largest commercial vehicle manufacturer and, First Automobile Workshop, distributor of FAW trucks and buses. The companies have pledged to showcase commercial vehicles and trucks such as: light and heavy duty trucks, tractor heads, tippers, trailers heads, tankers, cargo trucks, garbage trucks, 30-seater commercial buses and Pick-Ups. Chairman of the organising committee for the Lagos fair, Ifeanyichukwu Agwu said that their presence at the fair was vital to the development of the nation’s automobile and ECOWAS markets for safe and convenient transfer of goods and people. “We will delight our existing and potential customers with the best of modern trucks as well showcase variants of our tropicalised trucks at the fair ground. Trucks now, combine the features of workforce with luxury machines. With the modern facilities in trucks, driving trucks is akin to driving executive limousines.” Also, on parade in the luxury cars and buses category will be auto companies like Toyota Nigeria Limited with Toyota brands of automobiles and spare parts, Stallion Motors with its brands of Honda, Audi, Porsche, Hyundai, Skoda, Mahindra and Volkswagen products; while KIA Motors will showcase the latest in the KIA family. From the lubricant section, Mobil, Oando, Coin Ventures and Lubcon Limited will be exhibiting the best in engine oils and transmission fluids. International Energy Insurance (IEI) will lead the financial sectors while Rosabon Nigeria Limited will showcase the best in fleet management and the National Automotive Council (NAC) will lead the govern-
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
NigeriaCapitalMarket NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 25/04/2013 PRICE LIST OF SYMBOLS
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
CAPITAL MARKET 61
NSE Daily Summary (Equities) as at 25/04/2013
Shareholders laud GTB’s corporate governance principles By Helen Oji HAREHOLDERS of Guaranty Trust Bank Plc , yesterday commended the bank’s adherence to corporate governance, especially in its succession plan, even as they endorsed the bank’s N1.55 dividend due to every shareholder of the company. The shareholders who spoke at the bank’s 23rd yearly general meeting in Lagos yesterday, applauded the appointment of the new Chairman of the board, Mr Egbert Ulogo Imomoh, noting that the bank has continued to stick to its ‘old tradition’ in terms of appointing its board members over the years. They commended the management for the efficient running of the affairs of the bank, amid harsh economic environment. The bank had earlier paid an interim dividend of 25 kobo in June , last year and a final dividend of N1.30 kobo yesterday. The General Secretary of the Independent Shareholders Association of Nigeria (ISAN), Mr. Adebayo Adetunji expressed satisfaction with the state of affairs in the bank especially for abiding by
strict corporate governance principles. He berated the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN), especially the Asset Management Company of Nigeria (AMCON) for its reforms programmes which failed to take into consideration the plight of shareholders and the harsh economic situation in the country. According to him, AMCON reforms in the banking
…approve N1.55kobo dividend industry, rather than improve the lot of shareholders has become a ‘nightmare’ for investors in the financial services industry. Another shareholder, Michael Cole said, “We commend the management of the bank for their prudent management of the affairs of the banks, in spite of the
reforms of AMCON, which has impacted negatively on the economy and which is causing untold hardship for shareholders. “ The bank been able to reduce its Non Performing Loans from N20 billion to N36 million, which show that by next financial year, investors will be happy for it.
Responding, the Group Managing Director of the bank, Mr. Segun Agbaje said the succession plans put in place by the bank was to ensure smooth transition, so as to continue to return huge profit to investors on a yearly basis. Agbaje who said issuance of bonus will not be possible owning to the huge unit of shares outstanding, noted that the bank will continue to
ensure continue reduction in its cost to income ratio even as the bank will continue to maintain strong adequacy ratio in its operations. On the contraventions in the banks financials, Agbaje said that notwithstanding the bank’s keeping to standard in its ‘Know Your Customer policy’, human errors are expected to occur in every operation.
Access Bank reduces unclaimed dividend value, pays N1.25 dividend • Aig-Imoukhuede prepares exit from bank
By Femi Adekoya and Helen Oji OR reducing the number of shareholders on its unclaimed dividend list and increasing shareholders’ value on investment through dividend payout, shareholders of Access Bank Plc yesterday commended the bank’s board for enhancing their return on investments, as they approve the proposed dividend payout of N1.25 per share. Besides, the Group Managing Director/Chief Executive of the bank, Aigboje Aig-Imoukhuede also assured shareholders that his exit from the bank would not
create a vacuum or hinder the growth of the bank. Aig-Imoukhuede, who is expected to step down as the Group’s Chief Executive Officer in a couple of months, assured shareholders that the bank has put in place a strong succession plan, expressing confidence that the growth currently seen in the bank will be sustained and surpassed by the incoming Chief Executive. Specifically, the bank at the end of the 2012 financial year, reduced the value of the unclaimed dividend dropped by N2.46 billion to N687.67
million from N3.148 billion recorded in the 2011 financial year, a reduction by 78 per cent in one year. Speaking at the bank’s yearly general meeting in Lagos, yesterday, Aig-Imoukhuede explained that the reduction in the bank’s number of shareholders on its unclaimed dividend list was coming on the heels of declaration by the Securities and Exchange Commission, SEC, that the value of unclaimed dividends as at the end of 2012 is N60 billion. Commenting on the bank’s
feat within the financial year under review, the National Coordinator, Progressive Shareholders Association of Nigeria, Boniface Okezie commended the board and management of the bank on the performance, noting that the bank has done better than other banks that went through the process of acquisition. He explained that the bank added 60 kobo dividend to the interim the bank paid earlier, bringing the total dividend to 85 kobo, even though the bank was still in the
process of putting structures in place for the bank they acquired. “It was an excellent performance, the dividend is okay and shareholders are happy. The bank is still trying to put the bank they acquired in order and they have surpassed their peers that entered into acquisition. The earnings and turnover is good, they have outperformed their peers and the bank is ready for the future,” he said. An independent investor, Mike Egbo also commended the performance, noting that the result is encouraging due to the recent acquisition they made.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
64 INTERNATIONAL ECONOMY
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Growth records extend U.S. debt ceiling deadline HE U.S. Treasury T Department may have more time than economists previously estimated before the government’s debt limit is reached as changes in tax policy and an economic rebound boost federal revenue. The date the nation hits the ceiling on borrowing could be pushed back as far as mid-September to Sept. 30 from a previous estimate of late August to midSeptember, Steve Bell, senior director of economic policy at the Bipartisan Policy Center in Washington, said in an interview. A later deadline would give Congress more time to debate lifting the cap and postpone any vote until after the August recess. President Barack Obama in February signed legislation suspending the $16.4 trillion debt limit through May 18. The Treasury uses so-called extraordinary measures to push the deadline further. Treasury Secretary Jacob J. Lew said last week Congress should “extend the debt limit to remove any uncertainty” and declined to estimate when the ceiling would be reached. “A solid economy is certainly part of the story,” said Lou Crandall, chief economist at Wrightson Icap LLC in Jersey City, New Jersey. “Underlying fiscal trends are somewhat stronger than I had anticipated a few months ago.” As a result, the Treasury is likely to have “a slower cash burn rate this summer than originally seemed likely,” he said. Receipts in the six months through March totaled $1.2 trillion, up 12.4 percent from the October-March period a year earlier, according to Treasury data. Individual income-tax payments advanced 14.7 percent, while corporate profit taxes gained 18.6 percent, the data showed. Those two
categories accounted for about 55 percent of total revenue in the first half of the current fiscal year. Government spending totaled $1.8 trillion in the six months through March, leaving a fiscal year-to-date deficit of about $600 billion, the data showed. Nancy Vanden Houten, a policy analyst with Princeton, New Jersey-based Stone & McCarthy Research Associates, said in an interview that more than half of this year’s higher revenue is related to expiration of the payroll tax cut at the end of last year and “some shifting
of income to avoid higher tax rates in calendar year 2013.” A smaller part, perhaps three to five percentage points of of the 12 percent jump in receipts, “reflects underlying growth in the economy,” she said. The debt limit is one of the thorniest political issues in Washington. In 2011, the Obama administration and Republicans debated for months before raising the ceiling in August of that year. Standard & Poor’s downgraded the U.S. three days later, citing political gridlock in Washington and
the nation’s long- term fiscal challenges. U.S. Treasuries rallied afterward, with the 10-year note yield touching a record low 1.379 percent in July 2012. Benchmark 10-year notes yielded 1.72 percent at 12:10 p.m. today in New York. The Treasury in 2011 staved off a debt limit breach for about three months by taking steps including declaring a “debt- issuance suspension period” under the statute governing the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund. That allows the U.S. to redeem existing Treasury securities held by
that fund as investments. The U.S. unemployment rate has declined to 7.6 percent in March from 8.2 percent a year earlier, and the S&P 500 Index has increased for the past five months. Lawmakers let marginal income-tax rates increase on taxable income of married couples above $450,000 and individuals above $400,000. Those changes increased the top tax rate on ordinary income to 39.6 percent and raised the top tax rates on capital gains and dividends. The law also reimposed limits on itemized deductions and personal
exemptions for top earners. Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac may also contribute to extending the debt limit by sending profits to the Treasury in June. Such a decision by the government-controlled mortgage companies “is a big wild card that could change the timing of the debt limit by quite a bit,” Vanden Houten said. The debt limit will increase on May 19 to account for the deficits that accrued during the suspension period. The Treasury will have to use its extraordinary measures unless the limit is raised or
U.S. Treasury Department
U.S. stocks rise amid jobless claims, earnings reports NITED STATES. stocks rose, U extending a rally in the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index to a fifth day, as earnings from United Parcel Services Inc. to Cliffs Natural Resources Inc. topped estimates and jobless claims fell. Cliffs Natural soared 17 percent and UPS climbed 2.4 percent. Akamai (AKAM) Technologies Inc. rose 19 percent as revenue and profit beat estimates. 3M Co. (MMM) slid 2.9 percent as profit trailed forecasts and the company cut its full-year outlook amid a slowing global economy. Qualcomm Inc. lost 5.7 percent after forecasting profit that may miss some analysts’ projections. The S&P 500 (SPX) advanced 0.4 percent to 1,585.03 at 3:14 p.m. in New York. The gauge has risen 2.8 percent since April 18. The Dow Jones Industrial Average climbed 25.26 points, or 0.2 percent, to 14,696.53 today. Trading in S&P 500 stocks was 21 percent higher than the 30-day average during this time of day. “The majority of companies are continuing to beat expectations, so that’s a good sign,” Peter Jankovskis, who helps oversee $3 billion as co-chief investment officer of Lisle, Illinois-based Oakbrook Investments LLC, said by telephone. “The jobless claims
were better-than-expected, so that’s providing some support.” Some 59 S&P 500 companies post earnings today. Of the 236 companies that have published results so far in this reporting season, 73 percent have exceeded analysts’ earnings estimates while 55 percent missed on revenue, data compiled by Bloomberg show. Profit at S&P 500 companies dropped 1.1 percent in the first three months of the year, according to analyst forecasts compiled by Bloomberg. That would mark the first year-overyear decrease since 2009. Applications for jobless benefits fell by 16,000 to 339,000 in the week ended April 20, according to Labor Department data released today in Washington. Economists in a Bloomberg survey had a median estimate of 350,000 claims. In the U.K., the economy grew 0.3 percent in the first quarter, more than economists’ forecast, avoiding a triple-dip recession. Twenty-four of 40 economists surveyed by Bloomberg expect the European Central Bank to cut its benchmark interest rate by a quarter percentage point to 0.5 percent next week. The S&P 500 has surged 134 percent from a 12-year low in 2009 as corporate earnings
beat analyst estimates and the Federal Reserve embarked on three rounds of bond purchases to spur economic growth. The benchmark gauge is less than 10 points away from an all-time high of 1,593.37 reached on April 11. Central bank policy makers have been voicing support for extending record stimulus as inflation cools and 11.7 million Americans remain jobless. That marks a shift from last month’s meeting, when the bankers debated the timing of a possible reduction in bond buying. The Federal Open Market Committee will meet April 30-May 1. “The market is really looking at continued easing by the Fed,” Greg Woodard, a portfolio strategist at Manning & Napier in Fairport, New York, said by phone. His firm had $45.2 billion under management at the end of 2012. “They’re looking for signals of when the Fed is going to start to reverse that. Our view is that probably it’s going to be some time away.” The Chicago Board Options Exchange Volatility Index (VIX), or VIX, increased 1.1 percent to 13.76. The CBOE opened for trading three-and-a-half hours late today after a problem with its computer systems shut the derivatives market. Nine out of 10 industries in
the S&P 500 advanced as phone and raw-materials companies climbed the most, rising at least 1.1 percent. Energy companies slumped 0.1 percent as a group. Cliffs Natural jumped the most in four years, adding 17 percent to $21.34. The largest U.S. iron-ore producer idled some mines to reduce operating costs in the first quarter and adjusted earnings beat analysts’ forecasts. UPS climbed 2.4 percent to $85.47. The world’s largest package-delivery company posted higher first-quarter earnings than analysts estimated as deliveries of online purchases increased. The company handles more than 16 million packages and envelopes a day worldwide, making it a bellwether for the economy. Akamai, which helps customers deliver online content faster, surged 19 percent to $42.98 after reporting firstquarter revenue and profit that topped estimates as Internet traffic increased more than expected. An index of homebuilders climbed 2.5 percent as all of its 11 members gained. PulteGroup Inc. jumped 5.3 percent to $20.74. The largest U.S. homebuilder by revenue reported earnings that beat analyst estimates as an accelerating housing recovery fueled sales and led to higher prices.
Dow Chemical (DOW) Co. advanced 5.7 percent to $34.01. The largest U.S. chemical maker by sales posted firstquarter profit that beat analysts’ estimates as lower prices for natural gas increased earnings from plastics. Biogen Idec Inc. added 3.8 percent to $213.93. The fourthlargest U.S. biotechnology company by market value raised its full-year forecast as first-quarter net income increased on a tax benefit. Regeneron (REGN) Pharmaceuticals Inc. climbed 3 percent to $216.84. The maker of the eye medicine Eylea will replace MetroPCS Communications Inc. in the S&P 500 after the close of trading on April 30, S&P said. 3M fell 2.9 percent to $104.80. The maker of products ranging from Scotch tape to dental braces reduced its annual earnings forecast after quarterly profit trailed estimates for the first time in 1 1/2 years amid a slowing global economy. The company, which made 65 percent of 2012 revenue outside the U.S., gets fewer dollars when converting sales from countries with weaker currencies into its results. Qualcomm (QCOM) lost 5.7 percent to $62.25. The biggest seller of semiconductors for mobile phones forecast fiscal
third-quarter net income of 80 cents to 88 cents a share as average phone prices come under pressure. Analysts on average had projected earnings of 87 cents, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Exxon Mobil Corp. slipped 1.3 percent to $88.28, ending a five-day, 3.9 percent gain. The world’s largest company by market value said sales fell 12 percent to $108.8 billion in the first quarter. Widening chemical margins made up for lower crude production and prices, helping Exxon post an unexpected profit increase. Intuit (INTU) Inc. slid 11 percent to $57. The maker of tax and financial-planning software cut its full-year earnings forecast. JPMorgan Chase & Co. downgraded the shares to neutral from overweight, the equivalent of a buy rating. Safeway Inc. tumbled 14 percent, the most since 2003, to $24.23 after the grocer reported first-quarter same-store sales that were lower than it previously estimated. Zynga Inc. sank 7.3 percent to $3.11. The biggest maker of online social games forecast second-quarter sales that may fall short of some analysts’ estimates as revenue from mobile titles fails to make up for a drop in users playing its games on Facebook Inc.’s website.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Opinion Of change and accountability trivial. Having a strong, change-driven leader is is considered a taboo and absolute balderdash. non-security documents? Alas, the elusiveness. certainly a good step to start off with, but realisti- The lack of accountability is what venality Regardless, these budget proposals could still be HE concept of change is one that has no outcally speaking, the system of governance is so rot- thrives on and is the primary reason we find un- scrutinized. right definition. Change is affiliated and arten and malformed that it makes the idea of one precedented levels of corruption in every one of Many ministries propose hundreds of millions guably inseparable with factors like subjectivity, man changing Nigeria overly optimistic and to a our institutions. From the top tiers of governfor ‘on-going projects’ in different areas of the opinion and intellectual capacity. The nebulous great degree, fictitious. ment to the lower ranks, funds are squandered country. A citizen’s report on the progress of categorisation of change into positive change and Well, at the moment we remain victims of boor- and siphoned, projects abandoned, inflated con- these so-called projects in your states could shed negative change is still subject to what one con- ish politicking. We are tugged into political war- tracts awarded and power abused. All these ille- light on the effectiveness of their implementasiders positivity and negativity to be. Like many fare, armed with nothing but ethnic and religious galities pass through either undetected or tion. things in this world, Change is basically opinion. sentimentalities, ready to pounce on each other. unpunished and even worse, considered cusThese are a few simple steps that could emHowever, for Nigerians, the nondescript charac- Even though it is painstakingly obvious that those tomary. power us and provide us with resources to hold teristics of change are attenuating. A debate or handling the reigns of power exploit our lack of public officials and institutions accountable. The introduction of the Freedom of Informadiscussion that is guaranteed to spring up contogetherness and our tendency to be The final part of this article discusses the fountion bill passed in May 2011 made Nigeria only sensus agreement between Nigerians is that of ethnically/religiously biased, we still choose to do the second country to pass such a bill in West dation stone and root cause of most, if not all of ‘Change in Nigeria’. Between us, we have develnothing about it. We do not have to look far be- Africa. Nigerian civil rights groups battled tire- our problems. The average Nigerian is stereooped a unique emotional understanding, which yond our thresholds to see how much our minds lessly for over a decade to see the bill come to typed to want to ‘get rich doing the least work ensures that even without speaking to each other have been sullied, besmirching our supposed possible’ or in more conservative terms ‘to make fruition and give Nigerians the chance to unabout the type of change needed in our country; oneness. The seriousness of this off-putting reality earth facts and fight corruption. Not surprisit, the Nigerian way’. Coupled with widespread we intuitively agree that we are all seeking the is reflected in our everyday affairs. ingly, Nigeria remains the most corrupt country mis-governance and meager transparency, pubsame thing. We are ultimately seeking changes • It is evident in the disheartening comments that in the region. lic offices are seen as opportunities to enrich that would create a peaceful, fair and just nation follow online newspaper stories. Regardless of the A system with very little transparency is an in- oneself and getting oneself to such position is for all Nigerians and awaken our sense of pride content of the story or how unrelated it is to eth- centive to shady and fraudulent practices and is nothing short of a do or die affair. In Nigeria, the and being. nicity or religion, the comments would signify bank account proclaims the man. You are as a destined route to failure and further melanThe issues arise when we start thinking about otherwise. choly. Due to pitiable levels of accountability, we good as your money is. how to bring about these changes or in common • It is evident in our media coverage where stories witness the ‘disappearance’ of billions of naira The youths are left with no examples to emuNigerian terms, ‘Who would be the messiah’ to (mainly tragic ones) are given a direct religious or right under our noses (as seen in Printing and late apart from those of ‘Big Manism’ and bring about these changes. This is where our ethnic inclination. Journalists seem to ignore pompous wealth flaunting. They are left with a Minting last year); we witness mind-blowing aforementioned emotional covenant breaks ethics and their responsibilities towards non-in- swindling and immeasurable looting (such as voracious desire to make it to the top, not on the down. This is where various opinions and senti- citement and opt to twaddle instead. the police pension and fuel subsidy scams); we basis of merit or altruistic public service but on ments come into play and we totally forget/ig• It is evident in the mutterings of prominent reli- witness the degeneration of public institutions that of ‘connection’ and malpractice. They are nore that we are all seeking the same changes. We gious and political leaders, which often ignore and infrastructure (such as the dreadful police left with vivid memories of how amassed wealth completely overlook our individual and collective any form of political correctness and regionalise colleges, educational institutions and state and has been and still is used as a potential safeselves as those who need to change or push for issues of national concern. For example, the insur- federal roads). The list is interminable. guard against prosecution, regardless of one’s change; instead, we meddle and drown ourselves gency problem has so often been regarded as a What is the way forward? To rely on the govern- blatant criminality. They are left with the chalin political muss. Northern problem (not just geographically) and ment alone to bring change is to genuinely say lenge of rescuing a society that, if left unSome get under the Umbrella of the ‘Pointed it is therefore up to the North to “put its house in that we want to continue witnessing this politi- changed, is guaranteed to plunge into anomie agendas’ or the more recent ‘Transformation order”. cal Tiki-Taka and blame game (such that is going and unthinkable lawlessness. agendas’ (PDP); Others adopt the Broom as a sym- These are just few instances that signify the grav- on between Ezekwesili and the FG) and to surIn the words of Barack Obama “Change will not bol of ‘sweeping change’ (ACN); Others symbolize ity to which we have been disillusioned and how render our future. Our folded-arm approach has come if we wait for some other person, or if we wait and believe the Pen is the solution to ‘write off’ dirty politics is molding our society towards eth- so far yielded no results. As concerned Nigerians for some other time. We are the ones we’ve been our past (CPC); Others believe the Corn is neces- nic and religious bigotry. For us to even have a aspiring for change, little steps such as finding waiting for. We are the change that we seek.” We sary to ‘feed the nation’ in its conquest for the rev- chance to push for better governance, we would out how much is allocated to your local councils, are the only ones that can change our nation. Inolution for real change (ANPP); Others believe the have to reverse this ugly trend. states etc. and enquiring through the Bureau of dividually and collectively, we have to make an Cockerel’s crow would ‘wake us all up from our Another cardinal issue affecting the Nigerian effort. Public Procurement what the funds are being slumber’ (APGA); and so on. Regardless of what polity and one that needs to be imperatively tack- used for etc. could make a significant impact to- Finally, in the words of Dr. Ahmed Musa, “Nigepolitical party or leader we believe has the anled is the lack of accountability. This is perhaps ria is the proverbial cat with 1000 lives”. We have wards the push for transparent governance. swers, there are certain critical success factors the greatest limiting factor to our positive devel- Via the Nigerian budget office, you could also undoubtedly exhausted 999 of those lives and that we need to take into consideration. opment as a nation. Accountability is the only look at the nation’s budgetary allocations and are clinching unto the last. Regardless of who We seem to believe, rather stalwartly, that our way we can ensure actions and decisions taken by proposals. It is worth noting that details on the leads Nigeria, our collective success as a nation problems lie solely in our leaders and not so public officials are subject to oversight, so as to budgetary proposals are very vague. An example solely relies on our ability to push for accountamuch in the system of governance. Therefore, a guarantee that government initiatives meet their is one from the Ministry of Youth Development bility. Everyone must be held liable for his or her good, honest, change-driven intellectual should stated objectives and respond to the needs of the 2013 budget. For its NYSC scheme, N180 million actions and governance should be transparent be able to row us through the rivers of corruption community they are meant to be benefiting. In and N203 million were proposed for ‘printing se- and fair. and reeking mis-governance and take us to the Nigeria, transparency and accountability are God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria. curity documents’ and ‘printing non security Promised Land. Sadly enough, the case is not that jinxed and execrable words and to mention them documents’ respectively. What are security and • Dabo wrote from Preston, UK.
By Al-Amin Dabo
The scramble for amnesty By Anthony Akinwale LTHOUGH I first read it 22 years ago, the book Atonement and A Incarnation: An Essay in Universalism and Particularity provokes renewed interest. Authored by Anglican theologian Vernon White, its seventh chapter searched for a morally adequate response to evil. This is quite pertinent to the ongoing debate on amnesty for Boko Haram insurgents in Nigeria. While White believes reconciliation must be a central ingredient to whatever be the reaction to evil, he does not fail to recognize two different but interrelated moral and theological questions that arise. First, “what sort of criteria constitutes a morally adequate response to evil?” Secondly, “granted that reconciliation is at least one of the important part of the answer, how do we specifically understand reconciliation in a morally (as well as theologically adequate way)?” In an attempt to grapple with the question, White found inspiration in Fyodor Dostoyevsky’s novel The Brothers Karamazov. In it can be found the answer provided by Alyosha, one of the characters in the novel. For Alyosha, the moral response to evil is “forgiveness” and “reconciliation”. But for Ivan his brother, in the face of horrific torture visited on innocent children, to ask a mother to reconcile with the torturer is to make a morally repulsive proposition. And so, said Ivan to Alyosha: “I do not want a mother to embrace the torturer who had her child torn to pieces by his dogs! She has no right to forgive him! If she likes, she can forgive him for herself, she can forgive the torturer for the immeasurable suffering he has inflicted upon her as a mother; but she has no right to forgive him for the sufferings of her tortured child, those she has no right to forgive, she dare not forgive, even if her child himself forgave him!” (The Brothers Karamazov, Book 4 “Pro and Contra”). Alyosha rejects Ivan’s proposition because the mother “has no right to forgive”. She has no right to forgive because the consequences of evil immeasurably transcend the sensibilities of one injured party. Thus, she can forgive for herself but not for the child. Alyosha’s words challenge us by placing before our eyes the stark reality of our helplessness before the evil we commit
against one another. Human beings cannot heal the wounds they inflict on one another. White explains Alyosha’s position: “if we grant that forgiveness and reconciliation involve something like the will to accept the evil consequences, and the effort to recreate the situation for good, then we can grant that it is possible (in principle) to forgive for ourselves, but we cannot forgive for all the others affected...this means that all human forgiving is necessarily deficient. It is not just that, through weakness of the will, we do not bring ourselves to forgive; it is also that, through our finitude, we cannot, for we cannot enter into the experience of another to accept the pain and make the effort to recreate for them. Therefore we have no right to claim to forgive” (Atonement and Incarnation, 89). What Alyosha has done is to make his point by way of negation. Facile reconciliation provides no response to the problem of evil. But by so doing, he pointed to how adequate reconciliation is to be envisioned. White put it succinctly. A morally adequate reconciliation “must involve universal scope of action”. In other words, “if we could enter into every interlocking situation and experience, accepting the pain and effort involved in forgiving and creating good, then we can adequately forgive in any one particular situation.” This is where the deficiency of human forgiving is deeply felt. It is inescapably particularized. It is incapable of application in every situation because it bears the marks of human finitude, incapable of blotting out sin because it bears the marks of the sinfulness of the one who offers it. Ivan saw the problem clearly: if there is no forgiveness there is no harmony. But the stakes are high. “Is there in all the world a being that could forgive and have the right to forgive?” he wondered. And in a way that shows how pain and frustration can make us blind to things we need most, he continued his protest: “I do not want harmony, out of a love for mankind I do not want it. I want rather to be left with sufferings that are unavenged. Let me rather remain with my unavenged suffering and unassuaged indignation, even though I am not right. And in any case, harmony has been overestimated in value, we really don’t have the money to pay so much to get in.” Boko Haram has tortured our psyche, maimed and killed our
loved ones. We are in dire need of harmony. But it has become very expensive, some say unaffordable. The Federal Government is considering making an offer of amnesty. Boko Haram responds: “keep your amnesty. We don’t need it. You need it.” But it is not an either/or situation. Amnesty in the current situation is a piece of cake to be shared. Boko Haram needs amnesty for killing innocent Nigerians; the government needs amnesty for failing in its primary responsibility to protect lives and property; the political elite needs it, for sponsoring militias north, south, east and west of Nigeria in an effort to win or rig elections, and for promoting a culture of graft that has left Nigerians in poverty, despair and insecurity. And, lest we forget, it is not just Boko Haram that kills in this country. Armed robbers, kidnappers, dangerous drivers, merchants of fake drugs: these too kill innocent Nigerians. They need amnesty. Amnesty takes the form of reconciliation, and reconciliation is itself a process which reaches its goal only when it is well directed. The government has a responsibility to identify those who kill innocent Nigerians as well as their sponsors. Nigerians do not believe they are ghosts. If they show remorse and if they renounce violence they may be pardoned. If not, the law should take its course. The alternative would be a morally inadequate amnesty. To Ivan’s question, “Is there in all the world a being that could forgive and have the right to forgive?” Alyosha answered: “that Being does exist, and It can forgive everything, everyone, man and woman alike, and for everything, because It gave its innocent blood for all things and for all men and women. You have forgotten about It, but on It the edifice is founded, and this it is that people will exclaim to It: ‘Just and true art Thou, O Lord, for thy ways are made plain.’” In other words, the only Being who can forgive adequately and who, for that reason, can provide an adequate response to evil, is the Sinless One. In a deft theological move inspired by Alyosha’s pious postulation, Vernon White recognizes Christ as the only being who is able to offer forgiveness with universal scope. He is the Sinless One. • Fr. Akinwale teaches Systematic Theology and Thomistic Studies at the Dominican Institute, Ibadan.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Opinion Foreign Policy: New realities, changing world (3) By Olugbenga Ashiru Continued from yesterday NE of the major challenges facing Nigeria’s foreign policy is the plight of Nigerians in prisons abroad. Over 9,000 Nigerians are in various prisons all over the world, the highest number of 752 being recorded in the UK. Most of them are concentrated in the Asia-Pacific with many of them on death row. Given these alarming numbers and the imperative need to find creative solutions to the plight of these Nigerians, we convened Regional Seminars of Nigerian Heads of Missions in six centres. The seminar for the Asia-Pacific region took place from 4 – 5 April 2013. At the end of the seminar, the Heads of Mission made far-reaching recommendations, including the need to raise awareness in Nigeria on the dangers and perils of irregular migration as well as involvement in transnational crimes, especially drug trafficking. In the immediate term, the missions have been directed to explore the conclusion of Prisoner Exchange Agreements with the various countries, to ensure that those prisoners in foreign jails are repatriated home in dignity to complete their jail terms.
Some commentators on Nigeria’s foreign policy have reacted to the challenge of inadequate funding by suggesting that we close some of Nigeria’s missions abroad. It is argued that since government is unable to fund the over 100 missions, it would be better to close some and use the savings to properly support the remaining ones. This, to me is a desperate solution that fails to address the fundamental problem of inadequate funding and the imperative need to promote and defend Nigeria’s national interests in a changing world. This approach has never worked, as we have tended to open and close missions in a cyclical movement that creates more problems than solutions. First, closure does not necessarily translate to savings. The government would reduce the overall budget of the ministry by the same amount that would have been deployed to the closed missions. It will not be spread to the existing ones. Second, the cost of closing and winding down is far greater than re-opening. Third, when we close missions, we damage relations that have taken years to build. Fourth, at a time Nigeria seeks to be a member of the UN Security Council, in both permanent and non-permanent categories, our country needs more friends than ever before. A nation with such global ambition with its nationals spread all over
the world cannot be shrinking its diplomatic and consular presence abroad. To begin to shrink rather than make new friends and consolidate existing relationships will be counter-productive to Nigeria’s national interests. What we have done instead is to commence gradual reduction in the staff strength in our missions abroad and thereby save cost. We have also been ingenious by creating Smart Missions with only one ambassador assisted by few local staff. These prudent measures will help conserve funds while still maintaining our diplomatic presence. Nigeria and new global challenges It is also remarkable that with the emergence of new global challenges, Nigeria has been in the forefront of addressing such issues as international terrorism, climate change, irregular migration, human and drug trafficking and illicit trade in small arms and light weapons. Some of these complex issues that constitute security challenges have invariably posed serious threats to peace and security in Africa, particularly in our sub-region. While ongoing efforts are beginning to yield the desired results, Nigeria will not relent in its commitment to addressing this menace. Terrorism is an international phenomenon, gravely threatening national, regional and international peace and stability. The armed forces are also tackling the issue of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea and theft of our oil. Foreign envoys have been informed and warned that any foreign ship caught will be arrested and the crew will face prosecution in our law courts. We require the full cooperation, support and partnerships of all our friendly countries. Enhancing Nigeria’s representation and visibility in international organisations Since President Jonathan’s assumption of office in May 2011, Nigeria has maintained a strong stand in Africa. Following the formation of the AU about 11 years ago, Nigeria has not been involved in decision making at the highest level of governance in the organisation, in spite of our huge yearly contribution. We tried three times, between 2003 and 2011 to secure one of the posts of commissioners reserved for our sub-region, but failed. However, Nigeria won the post of Commissioner for Political Affairs in a hotly contested election in July 2012. This was indeed a huge success for Nigeria’s diplomacy. We broke the unfortunate chain of losing elections at the continental level and today, Nigeria’s visibility at the AU is no longer in doubt. At the United Nations and other world bodies, Nigeria has since the advent of this government, maintained a robust presence. In
the past, there were criticisms that Nigerian nationals were not fully represented at various international bodies and organisations as these compatriots will bear the national torch and advance Nigeria’s interest in those organisations. Since we came on board at the Foreign Ministry, we have secured 12 international positions to which Nigeria and Nigerians have been elected in multilateral organisations. There was no time in the history of our foreign policy that we have achieved so much within a short period of two years. These successes point to the effectiveness of our foreign policy machinery, the professionalism and the dedication of our diplomats deployed to ensure these election victories. We will therefore continue to maintain a robust foreign policy and ensure Nigeria’s leadership and visibility, not just in ECOWAS but in Africa as a whole. We have since launched our bid for election into the UN Security Council in the non-permanent seat category for the period 2014-2015. We have worked hard and have received the endorsement of ECOWAS heads of state and governments. We expect to receive the endorsement of the AU at the next summit in May 2013. Our election to this position in October 2013 will be a befitting gift to Nigeria in the year of the centenary celebration of our existence as a corporate entity. It will also be the first time that Nigeria will return to the Security Council after only two years gap. Welfare of Nigerians and relations with the Diaspora The Ministry remains committed to protecting the interests of Nigerians by constructively engaging the diplomatic and consular missions in Nigeria, especially on visa matters. As we demonstrated in our swift and effective response to the deportation of Nigerians from South Africa over the issue of yellow fever cards and our various demarches to the diplomatic community in Nigeria over the issuance of visas to Nigerians, we have made it clear that Nigeria would not tolerate the maltreatment of its citizens at home and abroad. As I have sought to demonstrate, there is really no basis for the criticism that Nigeria’s current foreign policy lacks dynamism. We have continued to be proactive in engaging the world and putting Nigeria’s national interests at the centre of our country’s foreign policy and international relations. What is needed is the support of major stakeholders and the vast majority of Nigerians so that we can build a domestic base and consensus behind our country’s foreign policy exertions. • Concluded.
Reginald Stanley: True worth of recognition By Ademola Adedoyin N THIS season of acute moral famine when all Ievery institutions of state have been bastardised and societal value desecrated, the temptation to dismiss every honorary award as lacking in credibility is not only high, dismissing the recognised as beneficiaries of a rigged process is difficult to resist. But then, when society appears to have lost its soul and its institutions have surrendered their self-esteem to the highest bidder, there is always that flicker of hope that should remind men of conscience that all is not totally lost, after all. A few institutions stand out of the crowd, refusing to be compromised and insisting on not lowering the standard, no matter the pressure. It is in this context that the recent Distinguished Public Service Award with which Reginald Chika Stanley, the head of Petroelum Products Pricing Regulatory Agency (PPPRA), was decorated by the Nigerian Association for Energy Economics (NAEE), can be situated. The Nigerian Association of Energy Economics, by the way, is the Nigerian affiliate of the International Association for Energy Economics (IAEE). Its current president is Professor Adeola Adenikinju of the Department of Economics at the University of Ibadan and a Research Professor at the Centre for Econometrics and Allied Research at the same university. NAEE award winners this year are in four categories. And the caliber of winner(s) in each category speaks eloquently about the standard and quality of the award. The Achiever Award Category went to Professor Omowumi Iledare, the first African presiden-elect of the IAEE and a renowned Energy Economics Professor; the Distinguished Corporate Service Award Category went to Platform Petroleum (Now Seplat) that indigenous upstream sector operator that has emerged today as perhaps the biggest independent player in the nation’s crude oil and gas production. In the Distinguished Fellowship Award Category, the winners were: Professors Yinka Omorogbe, former Legal Adviser at NNPC and Professor of Energy Law and Layi Fagbenle, a retired Professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Ibadan and former Energy Adviser
to Botswana Government. The Distinguished Public Service Award went to Dr. Timothy Okon, Group Co-ordinator, Corporate Planning and Strategy, NNPC and Stanley. To keen energy watchers and analysts, the Stanley Distinguished Public Service Award stands out among the lot. First, until his arrival at PPPRA in November 2011, the twin issue of subsidy regime and importation of petroleum products had become the most daunting problem for the government as dozens of oil trading and importing companies feasted on the country under the guise of importing fuel with the regulator appearing helpless while the revelry lasted. By the time the stock was taken, Nigeria had expended over N2.2 trillion on alleged fuel importation in 2011, an amount even higher than the capital expenditure for that year. Determined to clean this mess and institute a regime of transparent operation at the agency, a major plank of its transformation agenda, President Jonathan gave matching orders to the Minister of Petroleum Resources, Diezani Alison Madueke to reform the agency and get it working as it should. Stanley’s appointment came on the heeds of this presidential directive with his supervising minister (Alison-Madueke) giving him an unambiguous mandate to clean the Augean stable and put in place, a transparent system that is result driven. Dead line was November 21 2011. One year and five months down the line, what Stanley has accomplished in that agency is not just about the fact that he has saved for Nigeria billions of Naira which could have gone into the private pockets of some fat cats, he has put in place a system that is so transparent that it is impossible to circumvent. Fuel importation had become an allcomers’ affair and one endless cash cow for fat cats with contacts in the corridor of power up till November 2011. By this time, about 128 companies, many with only their brief cases as their offices, were in the business of importing fuel. Today, Stanley has reduced that figure to less than 40. How did he do it? One of the earliest measures he took on assumption of office was to restrict participation of marketers under the PSF scheme to only owners of coaster discharge/depot facilities. This measure ensured that only credible, established operators with verifiable investment can participate in the business.
Other measures aimed at entrenching transparency and compliance with best global business practices were to follow in quick succession. One of such initiatives was the introduction of independent cargo surveyors to undertake the verification of product discharge on all transactions under the PSF Scheme. These inspectors were actually mandated to fiscalise the shore tanks and vessels at berth before and after discharge and also monitor quantity of products trucked out of the depots. This measure which is aimed at curbing sharp practices has, according to industry operatives, worked wonderfully well that such under hand deals as volume manipulation and round tripping now belong to the past. In order to reconcile imported volume with volume that is evacuated for consumption from the depots, and to ensure that imports get to end users, the new dispensation, through nominated surveyors, monitor truck out of PMS from the depots as an added check on marketers operations. This is also used as a basis for subsidy reimbursement. In its determined battle against shady practices, the Stanley team rejects “homogenised cargo” for multiple vessels with no defined origins. Under the new regime, importers are required to produce Certificate of Origin for Cargos from refineries or blending plants only. This measure, which is aimed at ensuring that products supplied into the system are from credible and verifiable sources only, has put paid to the issue of off-spec products with their damaging effect on engines and machines. And to make proper tracking of imported products easier and put round tripping to a halt, a total ban has been placed on cargos procured from floating storage in the West African Coast. To authenticate sources of imported cargo and ensure that international suppliers are held accountable for products supplied into the country and to track all transactions relating to the operations of suppliers, marketers and banks under the scheme now have to submit the following additional documents to have their subsidy claim processed: Certificate of Origin, Affirmation Letter from supplier and Complete “Family Tree” of transaction.
Still in respect of supplier, a prequalification exercise for traders/suppliers in form of technical audit of suppliers of PMS into the Nigerian market was embarked upon. The initiative, which is aimed at weeding out unscrupulous suppliers, will leave only prequalified suppliers/traders to supply products into the Nigerian market once the Minister of Petroleum Resources signs off on it. Adjudged as remarkable on the list of the reform initiative of the Stanley- led management team was the subscription to Lloyd’s List of Intelligence Tanker/Channel/Sea Searcher Services and Reuters Eikon tracking system. With this subscription, it is possible for the agency to track and validate movement and location of vessels worldwide and confirm import claims of marketers. A lot, as any interested observers will discover. The figures tell the success story. Between January to October of 2011, the average daily quantity supplied (from both NNPC and marketers) was 59.7 million litres per day. Stanley came on the beat in November 2011. Between January and October 2012, the Stanley Reform Initiative has crashed supply to 35.6 million litres per day. In monetary term, between January and October 2011, the Nigerian government under the Petroleum Support Fund (PSF), subsidy payments stood at N1.35 trillion. During the same period in 2012, the total subsidy payments was N679.736 billion; thereby saving for the country some N671.7 billion, when compared with the 2011 figure. It is estimated that subsidy payment for 2012 may not exceed a little over N1 trillion as against over N2 trillion in 2011. Another major gain of the on-going reform initiative at PPPRA is that a system is being put in place, an institution is being built. Today, to earn a license to import fuel, the criteria are very clear. For the first time, whom you know does not count, where you come from is irrelevant and your political affiliation is of no use. It is perhaps in this regard that discerning analysts contend that Stanley owes his strides at the agency to the transformation agenda of the present government and the iron cast resolve of the supervising minister to reform and sanitize the downstream sector. • Adedoyin, an Energy Analyst, is the Editor-In-Chief
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
FridayWorship By Afis A. Oladosu In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent the Merciful Qarun (Nebuchadinezar or Korah) was one of Musa’s followers (a.s.), but he rebelled against them… When his people said to him: “Do not exult, for Allah does not love the exultant. Rather seek, by means of what Allah has given you, to attain the abode of the hereafter, while not neglecting your share in this world. Be good to others as Allah has been good to you, and do not seek mischief in the land, for Allah does not love the mischief mongers.” He replied: “All that I have been given is by virtue of the knowledge that I possess.” (Quran 29: 76-77) HE question above is, to say the T least, a forbidden one. It is a question that never gets asked even by couples. We are often afraid to tell people how much money we have deposited with the various banks in the country. In fact we are often afraid to tell ourselves how much we are worth. Nobody wishes to be reminded he is worth not more than six feet and six yards of white cloth. Nobody wishes to be reminded that what he keeps in the banks do not actually belong to him. What you keep in the banks belong to those who will inherit you after your death. Al-Rasul (s.a.w.) tells us: “What you spend in the path of the Almighty is actually what you are worth.” Brethren, only Allah knows exactly the time margin between the emergence of Prophet Musa and Prophet Muhammad (upon them be peace and blessings of Allah). Whereas Qarun lived during the time of Prophet Musa, men like Ubayy b. Kab. b. Salul lived during the time of
“Surely, the religion with Allah is ISLAM,complete submission”... Qur’an 3:19
How much are you worth before your Creator? Prophet Muhammad. Both men thought the life which was worth living, was that which grants men and women material comforts. But both Prophets strove to dispel this jejune philosophy. For example, Prophet Muhammad emerged as a head of state, a family man, a judge, a peacemaker and a close confidant to Christians, Jews and Muslims in Madina. He was the leader of the executive arm of government, the Minister of Finance and the Works Minister. He had access to the opportunities from which our politicians nowadays exploit to make millions and, indeed, billions of naira. Yet he lived a life that was devoid of plum and plenitude. His personal room consisted of mats and mud floor; it was devoid of tiles, marbles and what they now call POP ceilings. Muhammad lived in Makkah and Madina, which had no air-conditioners, no well-paved lounges, terraces and boulevards. He worshipped his Creator in a mosque in Madina, which was bereft of golden pillars and rugs. Each time he went out to the markets in Madina, ordinary citizens of the Madinite State were always there to welcome him. Muhammad had no bulletproof cars. Muhammad died without having a bank account! Thus the day he died, the Prophet of
Islam, Muhammad (upon him be the choicest blessings and benedictions of Allah) left only one thing as estate for his heirs, for us: Islam. He left behind no housing estate, no shares in multinational companies, and no dividends from which his heirs could benefit. Thus Dear Brethren, I woke up today to confront the question: how much do I worth? Permit me to ask you too: How much are you worth? This question is not actually targeted at an invasion of your privacy, at least in material terms. In fact I usually take flight from doing self assessment using currency as the denominator; I abhor the temptation to view life mainly through the prism of material provisions at my possession; I always pooh-pooh a reading of life which glories in the valorisation of the temporal over the eternal. Rather, I desire to ask you my sister and brother what you think you are worth in the estimation of your Creator. To know your worth in the estimation of your Creator is very simple. Examine the way you treat His injunctions. Reflect on the way you serve Him. Let us take our daily prayers (Salat) as an example. According to Ibn Qayyim in his book “The path to guidance”, there are five levels of Muslim worshippers. “The first is that of the one who is negli-
gent and consequently wrongs his soul. He is the one who falls short in performing ablution properly, in performing the prayer at its time and within its specified limits, and in fulfilling its essential pillars. The second level belongs to the one who guards his prayers upon their proper times and within their specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and performs his ablution with care. However, his striving (in achieving the above) is wasted due to whisperings in his prayer so he is taken away by thoughts and ideas from achieving the fullest rewards. The third level is that of the one who guards his prayers within the specified limits, fulfils their essential pillars and strives with himself to repel the whisperings, thoughts and ideas. He is busy struggling against his enemy (shaytaan) so that he does not steal from the prayer. On account of this he is engaged in (both) prayer and Jihaad. The fourth level is that of the one who stands for the prayer, completes and perfects its due rights, its essential pillars, performs it within its specified limits and his heart becomes engrossed in safeguarding its rights and specified limits, so that nothing is wasted from it. His whole concern is directed towards its establishment, its completion and perfec-
tion, as it should be. His heart is immersed in the prayer and in enslavement to his Lord, the Exalted. The fifth level is that of the one who stands for the prayer like the one mentioned above. However, on top of this, he has taken and placed his heart in front of his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, looking towards Him with his heart with anticipation, (his heart) filled with His love and His might, as if he sees and witnesses Allah. The whisperings, thoughts and ideas have vanished and the coverings, which are between him and his Lord, are raised. What is between this person and others, with respect to the prayer, is superior and greater than what is between the heavens and the earth. This person is busy with his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic, delighted with Him. Ibn Qayyim suggests that the first worshipper will be punished, the second will be held to account, the third will have his sins and shortcomings expiated, the fourth will be rewarded and the fifth will be close to his Lord, because he will receive the portion of one who makes his prayer the delight and pleasure of his eye. Whoever makes observance of prayers the delight and pleasure of his eye will enjoy nearness to his Lord, the Mighty and Majestic on the day of resurrection. Conversely, those who trifle with their prayers are like the dregs and scum that follow a downpour in the reckoning of Allah. Let me ask you once again: what do you think you are worth? Are you still busy counting the countable? Spare a thought this Friday for that which you cannot estimate: the remaining days you have left in your account with your Creator. (firstname.lastname@example.org)
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Sports Glo urges Eaglets to win African U-17 trophy
‘We are driving the Transformation Agenda with sports’ By Christian Okpara PORTS Minister, Bolaji Sforce Abdullahi says the driving behind the on-going reforms and transformation at the National Sports Commission (NSC) is the desire to achieve a different set of results and take sports development to a great height. Abdullahi also says there is no better time to reposition Nigerian sports than now that the country has embarked on progressive changes in many sectors of the economy. Addressing the 19th Council of Sports meeting in Ilorin yesterday, Abdullahi said, “sports is a sector that generates so much attention and passion, it is also a sector in which almost everyone claims to be an expert, but it is our duty as the top sports administrators in the country to decide on policies and programmes, which would result in greater speed towards achieving sports
d e v e l o p m e n t . ” The minister said it was unfortunate that a country with so many sports ‘experts’ continues to flounder in international competitions, adding that the country would benefit from its huge human and material resources if al came together to work for the common g o o d . He also hinged the current changes in the National Sports Festival (NSF) on the need to make it attractive to sponsorship and athletes from various climes. The minister charged participants at the Council, which include state commissioners of Sports, state permanent secretaries of Sports ministries, state directors of Sports, presidents of National Sports Federations and other stakeholders in sports to formulate policies and programmes, which would result in greater speed towards achieving sports development in Nigeria.
AFN/Solid Works Golden League lights up UNIBEN HE second leg of the 2013 formances, we are bound to T AFN/Solid Works Golden witness some really exciting League promises some exciting moments tomorrow when athletes file out for their events at the University of Benin Sports complex in Ugbowo, Benin City. At the first leg in Sagamu a fortnight ago, most athletes who were starting their outdoor season were a little bit lethargic, resulting in poor results in many of the event. But that may not be the case tomorrow as most of them have realized that high point scoring was important for them to win the prize money at stake. “Most of the athletes were not too happy that they did not win the usual prizes at stake in the Golden League series. But now that they have been briefed on the need to improve their per-
LOBACOM Nigeria has G congratulated the Golden Eaglets campaigning in the
moments at the Uniben Sports Complex on Saturday,” observed the Technical Director of the AFN, Navy Commodore Omatseye Nesiama. The women sprint promises to throw up a new winner in the absence of quarter miler, Bukola Abogunloko, who stepped down to boost her speed in the longer sprint but is away in the United States of America to feature in the Penn Relays slated for this weekend. She won the 200m in Sagamu. But in her absence, the duo of Patience Okon (NSCDC) and Cross River State sprinter, Peace Uko would have to battle for the top prize. Okon (23.45) picked the silver in Sagamu while Uko settled for the bronze in 23.94secs.
Fenerbahce’s Joseph Yobo (right) and Egemen Korkmaz (left) block Benfica’s Oscar Cardoza during their UEFA Europa League semifinal match at the Sukru Saracoglu Stadium, Istanbul…yesterday. PHOTO: AFP
Delta Governor’s Cup winner to visit Barca, Real Madrid, final holds May 27 By Gowon Akpodonor HOUGH, things might be looking rough for the two Spanish giants, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid in the ongoing UEFA Champions League, but organisers of the maiden Delta Governor’s Cup competition have concluded plans to send the winner to Spain for a playing tour, which may take the young lads to Camp Nou home ground of FC Barcelona and the Bernabeu of Real Madrid. Oraginsers of the competition have fixed May 27, which is Children’s Day nationwide, as final of the competition at the Warri City Stadium. At the meeting of the Main Organising Committee (MOC), headed by the Commissioner for Education (Secondary and Basic), Prof.
Patrick Moubogare, during the week in Asaba, it was decided that final should be celebrated along the Children’s Day activities since the Governor’s Cup football competition is for school children. Other side attractions like musical concert by school children and traditional dance by a select group have also been lined up for the day. The last four schools standing in the race will file out for the semifinal contest on May 22 at Agbor and Oleh Township Stadium, while the third place match will hold on May 24 at the newly completed Sapele Township Stadium. While giant killers, Comprehensive Secondary School, Ogwashi-Uku, will knock horns with Edjekota
Secondary School, Ughelli in one of the semi-final matches at the Agbor Stadium, Dom Domigoes School, Warri and Alegbo Secondary School, Effurun will play in the second semi-final at Oleh Stadium. The winner of this year’s Delta Governor’s Cup will have the opportunity of visiting either Spain or England for a playing tour later this year. The champion will also pocket N2 million in addition to a brand new school bus. The second position will also have a brand new school bus and one million cash prize, while the third position will have a school bus and N500,000.00. The maiden Delta Governor’s Cup competition started last year with about 500 schools in the race.
Morocco 2013 African U-17 Championship
Eaglets seek to erase Moroccan nightmare HE Golden Eaglets of T Nigeria are now set to erase the huge disappointment suf-
Golden Eaglets’ star, Isaac Success.
fered by the country in the qualifying tournament for the 2012 London Olympics in Marrekech two years ago. So much was expected of Dream Team V to not only qualify for the London Olympic Games, but even to go on to repeat the feat first achieved by Nwankwo Kanu and company at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics. But it was not to be as the Nigeria U23 team lost its first two matches, 1-0 to hosts Morocco and 2-1 to Senegal.
It then fired past Algeria 4-1 in its final group game with Raheem Lawal notching a hattrick, but it was too little, too late as Nigeria failed to make it to London 2012. The Golden Eaglets though have in the last two weeks made Marrekech, the Moroccan playground of the rich and famous, a home and tomorrow they are set to redeem themselves by beating Cote d’Ivoire to become African champions again. Former Nigeria U23 stars have backed the Eaglets to go all the way and banish the disaster that befell Austin Eguavoen’s
charges in November 2011. The only shinning light for Nigeria two years ago, Raheem Lawal, told MTNFootball.com he expects the U17s to deliver on the same pitch where they failed to do so. “We were not happy to lose out on the 2012 Olympics. I was really looking forward to the event, but we couldn’t qualify for it. It all happened in Morocco. But I believe the Golden Eaglets will beat Cote d’Ivoire in the final and win the CAF U17 Championship for us,” said the Mersin Idmuyurdu, midfielder. Shooting Stars goalkeeper,
Dele Ajiboye also admitted the team disappointed in Marrakech in 2011, but he expects the U17s to rule Africa come Saturday evening. “All I remember about the U23 championship in Marrakech was a huge disappointment. I am very sure the Eaglets will now rule Africa at same stadium and same city where we couldn’t. They have been superb,” Ajiboye said. Llaneros FC of Colombia left back Usman Amodu equally expressed disappointment that the U23s did not deliver when it mattered most.
on-going African U-17 Championship on its qualification for the final, describing it is a good omen for Nigerian football. A statement by Globacom in Lagos yesterday described the Eaglets as true conquerors, urging them to go for the trophy. The Golden Eaglets scored three goals in the first 25 minutes, but the Carthage Eagles of Tunisia made a remarkable comeback with two quick goals before the Nigerians sealed the win with another goal to end the encounter 4-2. “We reckon with the great fighting spirit the team has so far demonstrated and we believe the spirit will help the team to achieve the ultimate goal of lifting the trophy,” the statement said. “A team that has scored 17 goals in four matches deserves special recognition and we urge them not to rest on their oars until the trophy is won on Saturday.” Globacom also commended the team’s coaching crew for their tenacity while asking Nigerians to sustain their support and prayers for the team. “We started this year well by winning the AFCON trophy in South Africa and we should continue the winning streak in Morocco,” the statement further said. Globacom is the major partner of the Nigeria Football Federation and official sponsor of the Nigerian national teams.
First Bank, MTN, Etisalat in Corporate Games gold rush IRST Bank, MTN Nigeria and Fletics Etisalat dominated the athheat on the opening day of the Corporate Nigeria Games, producing finalists in the 100m and 200m sprints events holding on Sunday at the University of Lagos Sports Complex. But it is Skye Bank and Sovereign Trust Insurance that will be the cynosure of all eyes as they file out for the football event to determine the Corporate Games Champion of Champions. In the men’s 100m event, MTN will be fielding Itotoi Anthony and Tosin Odekun, while Etisalat will have Ore David and Kingsley Daniel with Francis Ihezuoh and Oyeyemi Damilola running for First Bank. Omotayo Sonowo and Osita Igboabuchi will complete the race from the starting block. The 200m race is another test of speed between Etisalat, MTN, First Bank and PZ Cussons with the following runners targeting the gold medal- Ore David and Kingsley Daniel (Etisalat), Chike Eke and Kunle Ojabowale (MTN), Oyeyemi Damilola and Oluwatosin Faniyi (First Bank) with Gabriel Gamuko and Anthony Nwagocha representing PZ Cussons.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
UEFA champions league fall out
Madrid couldn’t deal with us, says Lewandowski Set to move to another club OBERT Lewandowski has R claimed Real Madrid simply did not know how to deal with him and Borussia Dortmund after the 4-1 destruction of Jose Mourinho’s side on Wednesday night. The Poland international gifted Dortmund an early lead in the first-leg of their Champions League semifinal, before Cristiano Ronaldo leveled the scoring in the dying minutes of the first half. Dortmund stepped up its game after the break as Lewandowski netted three more to leave BVB on the brink of the Champions League final. “We played really well in the second half and Real Madrid had no idea how to deal with us. We scored three goals and played unbelievably well,” Lewandowski told Uefa.com. “It was almost perfect. Obviously I’m delighted because we won 4-1 and it was an outstanding performance, but we’re not in the final yet. “We’ve made great strides tonight (Wednesday), but we need to be alert from the very first minute in Madrid, because they’re still very dangerous.
“We’re a good team and we’re not afraid of Real Madrid, but we’re going to have to play very well over there.” Lewandowski, 24, has netted 10 goals in 11 Champions League appearances so far this term, trailing only Ronaldo, who has 12 goals. Meanwhile, Lewandowski’s agent, Maik Barthel has stunned Borussia Dortmund by revealing the striker has agreed terms with another club - less than 24 hours after scoring four goals in BVB’s 4-1 win over Real Madrid. The likes of Bayern Munich, Juventus, Manchester United and Manchester City are all believed to be keen on luring the Poland international away from Signal Iduna Park this summer. BVB has so far stressed that the club has no intention of selling its star attacker, though a transfer now seems inevitable following comments made by the player’s representative on the back of one of the finest nights in the club’s history. “We have reached an agreement with another club and intend to switch clubs this summer,” Barthel was quoted as saying by Sport Bild. “All of
Borussia Dortmund’s demands will be met.” Lewandowski’s agent then went on to stress that BVB has promised the striker that he will be allowed to leave under the right conditions and expects Jurgen Klopp’s side to honor its promise. “There is an interesting offer for Robert that meets Dortmund’s criteria and satisfies Robert’s demands. BVB have assured us that Robert will be allowed to leave under these circumstances. It’s now up to the clubs to sort it out.”
‘Real Madrid failed as a team’ EAL Madrid defender, R Raphael Varane believes that Wednesday’s 4-1 Champions League defeat against Borussia Dortmund was the result of team failure rather than just poor defending. BVB striker Robert Lewandowski netted four times to help the Bundesliga side to a crucial home win in the first leg of the semifinal tie, prompting Jose Mourinho to blame Madrid’s defense for the loss at Signal Iduna Park. Nevertheless, Varane disagrees with his coach and feels the entire team was to blame for the loss in Dortmund. “It’s more a team failure than an individual one. Lewandowski played really well and we failed to stop him,” Varane was quoted as saying on the official UEFA website. “We didn’t expect a result like this. We expected a much more positive result. We approached the game with plenty of ambition, but we went down to a very aggressive team who were compact and gave us no space.” Meanwhile, Xabi Alonso admitted that Madrid was outplayed by Jurgen Klopp’s men, but believes the club could still turn things around. “Borussia competed better than us and we have to learn for the next match because we have little margin for error,” the midfielder told reporters. “We can do it in the second match at home, even though we are not happy with this match right now. We have six days to wait and we can turn this result around.”
Bundesliga not necessarily better than La Liga, Iniesta insists ARCELONA midfielder, B Andres Iniesta insists that this week’s Champions League results do not prove that the Bundesliga has overtaken La Liga as the dominant domestic competition in European football. It has been argued that Bayern Munich’s stunning 40 rout of the Blaugrana on Tuesday, coupled with Borussia Dortmund’s 4-1 demolition of Real Madrid, represents a significant continental power shift, however, Iniesta feels it would be a mistake to read too much into the outcome of two games. “(Like Bayern), Borussia Dortmund are also in a very good spell but it’s not that the Spanish league is below (the Bundesliga),” Iniesta told reporters on Thursday. “It’s just that the Germans have outscored their opponents. “But there are second legs to play and we can try to match those results.” Indeed, despite the onesided nature of their meeting
DSTV Premier Basketball League
Islanders, Customs clash as battle for points begin By Adeyinka Adedipe HE battle for points will begin today in the DSTV Premier Basketball League, as Islanders Basketball Club takes on the Nigeria Police team in the opening game of the season at the sports hall of the National Stadium. After last weekend ceremonial game between Union Bank and Comet, both sides will square up again in the second game but this time hoping for a winning start in the new season, while Dodan Warriors will also take on Nigeria Customs in a game the warriors have vowed to win. Warriors new Head Coach, Peter Ahmedu has a herculean task on his hands after his team threw away the chance of winning the title last season, losing to eventual winners, Royal Hoopers of Port Harcourt in the semi
final of the Final Eight. It was a devastating loss for Warriors after they were unbeaten until that fateful game against Hoopers. However, with former Coach, Adeka Daudu moving up as the head of the technical of the Dodan Warriors basketball programme, Ahmedu will have to bring experience to bear on the team. Ahmedu might also get a helping hand from Dauda but he is now fully in charge of the affairs on the court. Club secretary, Joe Apu told The Guardian yesterday that his team would defeat Customs and avoid the mistakes of last season. He said the changes would not hinder the team’s success but propel it to greater height. “We are ready for the season and our aim as usual is to fight for the top prize,” he added.
Coach Lateef Erinfolami’s Islanders must be wary of the threat posed by the Police team, who are highly unpredictable. The Police team could be at their best in one game and are blown away in the next, which makes it a difficult team to play against. Union Bank Basketball Club and Comets, have vowed to improve their performances as the quest this season. Coach Ayo Bakare said his team should not be judged by the defeat to Union Bank in the ceremonial game, blaming the loss on the absence of some notable players. He assured that that the return of the players would boost his team, noting that the inclusion of new players for the new season has not rendered his team weak. “The defeat doesn’t mean that were are weak, it only
shows that we have a lot to do. The game was an opportunity to test the new players who are making their debut,” he added. He said that his team should be judged after taking on Union Bank today, saying that it was premature to conclude that his team was weak and might not live up to expectation in the new season. Meanwhile, Union Bank Coach, Ayinla Johnson said his team would keep up with the momentum and work on some of the mistakes that were observed during the ceremonial game. He said he has brought in experienced players to balance his team, which was made up young players last season. He said his team would also become stronger when injured players return to action.
with Bayern in Bavaria, Iniesta still feels that Barca can, at the very least, salvage some pride at Camp Nou next week. “We must believe if we are to have a chance,” he stated. “Overturning four goals is very difficult, but you have to have the mentality that you must first go and win the game, and then see what might happen. “We have 90 minutes to try to achieve something very difficult. The result (at the Allianz Arena) was terrible and I’m not saying we’re going to do it, but if we are to have a chance, we must play with the conviction that we
can. “They were better than us in every way, and not for lack of attitude or wanting on our path. They outplayed us. “Let’s face it, it hurts but we have to just focus on the second leg at home, trying to adjust as much as possible to get a great result. Even if we go out, we must leave everything on the field.” Iniesta, though, is glad that Barca do not have to dwell on their Bavarian beating for too long, given the Catalans could clinch the Spanish title this weekend should they win at Athletic Bilbao and Atletico Madrid beat the Blancos later in the day.
Preliminary round of 35th CBN Tennis Open Championship serves off By Olalekan Okusan LAYERS will today begin hostilities in the preliminary round of the 35th Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) Senior Open Tennis Championship holding at the National Stadium in Lagos. With the aim of the playing in the main draw, which will commence on Monday, the players will take to the courts, with all eyes on the wheelchair event, which has been included in this year’s championship. With improved total prize money of N14.3 million, singles champions (men and women) are expected to cart home N.7 million each, while runners’ up will also get N.5 million each. For the CBN’s Director of Corporate Communications, Ugochukwu Okoroafor, the inclusion of the wheelchair event is aimed at adding value and expanding the tournament. For the Vice President of NTF, Matthew Owoseni, it is disheartening little attention is being paid to tennis with too much focus of football. “I don’t think organising two tournaments yearly for our players will make any meaningful impart on them and we expected them to compete with others at the
All Africa Games and the Olympic Games. It is not possible because we had made passionate appeal to corporate bodies and philanthropists to help the sport but it seems everybody is just focusing on football. “I want to tell you that globally that tennis and football are rated among the top sports in the world and with all the billions spent on football what have we achieved. I think sport like tennis can also bring honours to this country. So I am also suing this platform to appeal to companies and well-meaning individuals to support our players so that they can be among the best in the world,” he said. Owoseni, who has been at the forefront, championing the development of the game, also charged the National Sports Commission (NSC) to shift focus to other sports rather than showing more interest in football to the detriment of others. Meanwhile the preliminary rounds of the most glamorous All Nigeria Tennis Championship will serve off tomorrow at the National Stadium in Lagos with players aiming to make it to the main draw of the competition when it commences on Monday April 29.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Heroes Of Awoture Eleyae: Doyen of Nigerian Former Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa, Dr. Awoture Eleyae is a balanced individual with superior athletic and academic qualities. Now 86, he is still strong and healthy - a carry over from his active days as an athlete, coach, teacher, lecturer and sports administrator in Nigeria, Africa and beyond. As a teenager, Eleyae’s desire was to hit the top after deciding to combine football and athletics on the streets of Uzere, a community in Isoko-South Local Council in present-day Delta State. That was in the mid 1940s, when he commenced elementary education at the Native Authority (NA) Primary School in Uzere. Though he started as a goalkeeper, it was in athletics that the lad realised his dream after he ran bare-footed to pick a silver medal for Nigeria in the 880 yards (half mile), during the Ghana Athletics Championship in 1954. Two years later, Enugu hosted the All Nigerian Athletics Championship and Eleyae, who was a student at the popular Government Teachers’ Training College (GTTC), Abraka, set a national record in the 880 yards. He had emerged the regional champion from the old Western Region and the record he set in Enugu remained unbroken for five years, until Mohammed Pankshin from the present-day Plateau State erased it in 1959. Later, academic excellence and sportsmanship would fetch him a Federal Government scholarship in 1960, which took him to Britain to study at Leeds University, Glasgow College of Physical Education and the Loughborough University in Northern England. He was still a student in Britain when he attended the 1960 Olympic Games in Rome, where he under-studied how the Games were organised. He returned to Nigeria in 1962 and was quickly employed by the College of Arts, Science and Technology, Zaria, now Ahmadu Bello University (ABU). As a Physical Education lecturer in the college, Eleyae was handed a great task by then Amateur Athletics Association (AAA), to lead the national team to the Dakar Friendship Games, where his athletes, including policeman, Sam Igun, David Ejoke and A.K Amun, did wonders by winning 10 gold medals to top the table. The Dakar Friendship Games later gave rise to the All Africa Games. He also discovered other great athletes, including Emilia Edet and Violet Odogwu-Nwajei. In fact, it was Eleyae, who converted Violet from high jump to the hurdles and long jump events. He coached the athlete to the 1966 Commonwealth Games in Jamaica, where Violet picked bronze in the long jump to set a record as the first African female athlete to achieve that. In 1970, Eleyae led another Nigerian team to the Commonwealth Games in Edinburg, with Gen. Henry Adefope as Chef-de-Mission. In his squad was the high-flying Modupe Oshikoya, a long and high jump specialist. Oshikoya was declared the best African athlete at the 1974 edition of the Games in Australia. Eleyae later served as director of Sports in the old Bendel State, where he rose to become chairman of the Sports Council. He capped his career with his appointment as secretary general of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa, a position he held for several years. Eleyae spoke with GOWON AKPODONOR,during the week on a number of issues, including the decline in the nation’s school sports system, which, according to him, is a result of the dearth of Physical Education (PE) in both public and private schools. ROM the early 1940s, down to Nigeria’s Independence in Fand1960, not much was heard about the country’s sportsmen women whenever they competed at major sports events. The absence of television robbed many Nigerians the opportunity to watch their heroes and heroines, a majority of whom used to play or run bare-footed and without kits. One of the heroes of the time is Eleyae, whose great career and contributions formed the bedrock and symbol of Nigeria’s athleticism. Remarkably, his prowess soared to high heavens. He was famous for his exploits in the 440 and 880 yards. From NA in Uzere to GTTC in Abraka (now Delta State University after transformations), he was quick to become a regional and national athlete. From a humble beginning in his native Uzere community, Eleyae, was born on April 27, 1927, rose through athletics to become a leader and champion, senior prefect and academic front-runner. Though the seed of his athletics career was planted at the NA between 1940 and 1947, it was nurtured to stardom when he gained admission into GTTC in 1951 for his Grade 111 training. He later obtained his Grade 11 (equivalent of the Senior Secondary School Certificate) in 1956. While at GTTC, the young Eleyae travelled to Warri, uninvited, to participate in the Provincial Athletics Competition in 1951, and the race was his first test in athletics, as he finished third in the half-mile event. Now he recalls with nostalgia, “after that race, I was selected to represent the zone in the Western Region Athletics Championship, which took place at the Government College, Ibadan, in late 1951. I came first in the half-mile race and was picked to represent the Western Region at the National Athletics Championship held at the Police Ground in Ikoyi, Lagos. I was in col-
86-year-old Eleyae running a relay race at the Warri City Stadium during the Africa Youth Athletics Championship (AYAC 2013)… recently lage at that time.” Eleyae was still a student at GTTC when he started work as a Grade 111 teacher at NA Primary School at Otu-Jeremi in presentday Ughelli South council of Delta State. He disclosed enthusiastically. “One of my pupils at NA Primary School is the current Deputy Governor of Delta State, Prof. Amos Utuama. He actually did sports in his school days. I thought him in the classroom and some of the things in athletics and other sports. I was transferred to Ughelli Primary School in 1954 as a Grade 111 teacher.” His most memorable moment in his athletics was in 1954, when he represented Nigeria at the Ghana Athletics Championship. Then, the sports rivalry between the two countries had started and all attention was on the young Eleyae to salvage Nigeria’s image. Among those who paid their way from Nigeria to watch the race was his Principal at GTTC, Mr. Soulbry, a Briton. Of the Ghana race, he said, “this is one race I won’t forget in a
hurry. Few hours to the race, my principal (Soulbry) bought a sports shoe for me to compete in the race. He thought he was doing me a great favour because he actually wanted me to win the race. But that was the first time I would be using sports shoe to run and it became a problem midway into the race. I was uncomfortable with it and halfway, I pulled off the shoes and continued bare-foot. “In the process, I lost the first position to my Ghanaian rival, Edward Nyako. But everybody was happy with my performance. May be if I had started the race on my usual bare feet, I could have possibly finished ahead of Nyako.” On return from Ghana, Eleyae got a red carpet reception. In 1960, he got a federal scholarship to study in Britain, which took him to the three great institutions. While in Britain. On his return in 1962, ABU employed him as a lecturer and he was still in Zaria when he was called by the AAA to lead the national team to Dakar Friendship Games.
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
School Sports sports, producer of great stars
With Governor Uduaghan
This is one race I won’t forget in a hurry. Few hours to the race, my principal (Soulbry) bought a pair of sports shoes for me to compete in the race. He thought he was doing me a great favour because he actually wanted me to win the race. But that was the first time I would be using sports shoes to run and it became a problem midway into the race. I was uncomfortable with it and halfway, I pulled off the shoes and continued bare-foot. In the process, I lost the first position to my Ghanaian rival, Edward Nyako. But everybody was happy with my performance. May be if I had started the race on my usual bare feet, I could have possibly finished ahead of Nyako. “I quickly assembled a team in readiness for the trip. I picked Sam Igun, a policeman and best triple and high jumper at that time, David Ejoke was the best sprinter in the country, and Benedict Majekudumi from Ogun State was combining the 100 and 200 metres while A.K Amun was running in the 400 metres,” he said. “In Dakar, my team did wonders. We topped the medals table with 10 gold and were treated like kings on arrival in Lagos. It was the Dakar Friendship Games that gave rise to what is today the All Africa Games.” Other athletes he discovered as coach included Emilia Okolie, Eddie Jeyfous, Jimmy Omagbemi, George Ogan, Clarice Ahanotu, Christian Ohiri, Emilia Edet, Modupe Oshikoya, Ashanti Obi, Seigha Porbeni, Charlton Ehizuelen, Harrison Salami, Bruce Ijirigho, Aboyade Cole, Godwin Obasogie and Violet OdogwuNwajei, who he converted from high jump to
This is the proper way of exchanging the relay baton, Eleyae, seems to tell Nigerian youths during the AYAC in Warri
the hurdles and long jump event. He coached Violet to the 1966 Commonwealth Games held in Jamaica, where she captured a bronze medal in the long jump - the first by an African female athlete in history. While the civil war raged in Nigeria, Eleyae and Jim Alford, who was chief coach of Britain, led a joint African team to compete against the United States (U.S.) at the Commonwealth Games in Los Angeles, but the team lost to U.S. That same year, Eleyae went to Mexico with some Nigerian athletes like Igun and Odogwu for altitude training in preparation for the 1968 Olympics. He coached the team to the Olympics proper in Mexico with Bode George (then a superintendent of Police) as team manger. “I was full of expectations that no matter what happened, we must get at least a medal at the Olympics,” he recalled. “We had good preparation and in my team were Igun and Violet, and the likes of Majekodumi and Amu were in the relay team. But at the end, we could not win anything. Violet got so close to the medal zone but was injured in the hurdles event. It was my worst moment as a coach.” In 1970, Eleyae led another Nigerian team to the Commonwealth Games in Edinburg, and “by this time, Oshikoya had become prominent in the long and high jumps. Oshikoya specialised in the heptatlon event and I could recall that Modupe was declared the best African athlete at the 1974 Commonwealth Games in Australia.” Eleyae went to the University of Illinois, Urbana Champagne for his Ph.D soon after the 1970 Commonwealth Games, thus becoming the forth Nigerian to bag this prestigious degree. On his return, he was appointed director of Sports in the old Bendel State. He had served as assistant national track and field coach in
Lagos in 1964, thus becoming the first indigenous coach to be so employed at the National Sports Council. He became a rallying point in Physical Education and sports profession, just as he pioneered the establishment of NAPHER-ED in the country. He obtained his masters degree in P.E in 1971, returned briefly home to groom athletes for the second All Africa Games in 1973, which Nigeria hosted in Lagos. It was Eleyae, who initiated the idea of establishing the National Institute for Sports (NIS), and was its pioneer principal. He also played key role in Nigeria winning the Africa Cup of Nations trophy for the first time in 1980. Meanwhile, he was the architect of Nigerian athletes’ scholarship programme in American universities, which has benefited the likes of Oshikoya, Innocent Egbunike, Chidi Imo, Seigha Porbeni, Bruce Ijirigho, Charlton Ehizuelen, Mary Onyali and Fahilat Ogunkoya, among others. When Johannesburg hosted the seventh All Africa Games in 1999, Eleyae told this reporter at the Sandton Sun Intercontinental Hotel that Nigeria would surprise the continent, indeed the world, in terms of preparations and provision of facilities for the next edition of the Games (Abuja 2003). He was the Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Sports in Africa at that time. His dream came true when Nigeria dazzled the world at COJA Games, where Team Nigeria came top for the first time. And in recognition of Eleyae’s contributions to African sports, the Confederation of African Athletics (CAA) last year named the Nigeria Grand Prix held in Warri City Stadium after him. About 61 international athletes from over 20 countries took part in that championship. In 2005, the Federal Government honoured him with the OON Award for his professional contribution to the nation.
Looking back to his days as a schoolboy in Uzere and Abraka, Eleyae said that grassroots sports in the country had nose-dived, and that promoting school sports is the only sure way to guarantee the future of sports in Nigeria. According to him, “it will be a wise decision if schools in the states can re-enact what we used to do during our days in sports, when Children’s Day (May 27) was used for sports competitions among schools. “Then, I used to come from Lagos to Warri and Ughelli to run coaching courses for teachers of Physical Education in schools. You might have been hearing about Empire Day. If we have Children’s Day on May 27 what do they do, just a march past. They should do a competition.”
In a group photo with Delta State Governor Emmanuel Uduaghan and others including former President of the Athletics Federation of Nigeria (AFN), Tony Urhobo (fourth right) and upcoming female athlete, Ese Brume (far left)
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
Oche Andrew Odoh (right) Kingsley Oparaku prepares to putt while another golfer readies his ball ahead of putting at the grand finale of the Glo West Africa Tour at the Otukpo Golf and Country Club, Akpegede, Otukpo, Benue State.
Willy returns to Gabon, eyes treble at Port Gentil Stories by Eno-Abasi Sunday WO weeks after an opening T day gaffe on the 18th hole denied him a taste of victory
in far away Gabon at the 18th Moanda Open Golf Championship, Port Harcourt-based Gift Willy is returning to the East African country, where he hopes to win his third Port Gentil Open Golf Championship. Willy won the trophy for the first time in 2011 in the Gabonese port city of Port Gentil, shortly after winning the Baby Mariam Jammeh Golf Tournament in The Gambia. The tourney was sponsored by the President of the Republic, Yahya A.J.J. Jammeh, The following year, he failed to play the Gambian event, but went on to record a successful defence of his title in Gabon with a seven-stroke advantage over little known Ghanaian Godwin Sai. In his bid to make it a treble at the event, which the winner will cart home $7, 500, Willy will jet out of the country on Monday, April 29. The tourney runs from May 2nd to 5th.
He will depart Gabon for Cameroon to play in the Cameroon International Golf Championship, which has a $30, 000 tournament winning purse, of which the overall winner picks $10, 000. After participating in the Cameroon event from May 7th to 11th, he will return to Gabon to play the $10, 000 Libreville Open. He may be joined by compatriots Oche Andrew Odoh and Gboyega Oyebanji in the last two events.
Meanwhile, organisers of the flagship Cameroon event have said the tournament, for the first time will be played on two golf courses in different locations. According to the Yves Ahanda Martin-led Cameroon Federation of Golf (FECAGOLF), the event, which would tee-off at the traditional venue, the Yaoundé Golf Club, would be concluded at the Likomba Golf Course in Tiko, near Douala. A member of the organising
committee, Lucy Esouma said an 18-hole amateur and caddy’s tournament will precede the professional’s round on May 5th and 6th while the first round of the pros round will follow on 7th and 8th at the Younde Golf Club course. Thursday 9th has been set aside as a free day to enable the players travel from Yaoundé to Tiko, where Likomba Golf Club, venue of the last two rounds as well as the closing ceremony will take place on May 11.
PHOTO: ENO-ABASI SUNDAY
Sokan is new NUGA president NITED Kingdom-based management U wealth consultant and avid golfer,
Mr. Tony Sokan has emerged president of the NigeriaUnited Kingdom Golfing Association (NUGA). He is the third president of the group. His appointment to steer the association founded by a group of UK-based Nigerian professionals, who are passionate about the sport of golf in 2004, was recently announced by the Board of Directors of the body. Sokan, a foundation member of NUGA, had earlier served as captain in the 2008/2009 season, in which capacity he also edited the NUGA magazine. Before serving as captain, he was for two years the social sec-
retary of the group, which turns 10 in July 2014. According to Sokan, part of his plans whilst on board are to see that NUGA establish its own golf course in the UK even as he hopes to work towards mounting an effective fund raising for the body’s numerous projects. “It is my strong desire that NUGA owns its own golf course in the United Kingdom. This is going to be one of the thrusts of my tenure. We shall embark upon a sponsorship drive towards establishing new corporate sponsors and reinforcing our relationship with existing ones. A campaign towards the effective corporate branding of NUGA shall also be embarked upon,” he stated.
Pros, swing for departed colleague, Dei HANDFUl of professional A golfers were joined by a number of others to pay tribute to their departed colleague, Franklin Dei with a one-day golf tourney at the Dolphin Golf Club, Navy Town, Ojo, Lagos State. At the 18-hole event, where over 50 golfers teed away in honour of the departed golfer, former captain of the club, Francis Olo said the event was a way of paying tribute to Dei’s immense
contributions to the club. “Franklin (Dei) was a professional player here when the club was still developing and there are a lot of amateur players here, who credit all that they have learnt to him. He was a humble player that we learnt a great deal from. Even when he relocated to Port Harcourt where he died, Dolphin was unquestionably his home club and that is why all of us here have decided to hon-
our him with this event,” Olo stated. Some professional players, who turned up for the event from around the country include Victor Enaigbe of the University of Benin Teaching Hospital (UBTH) Golf Club in Edo State, Nojeem Shofela from MicCom Golf Club in Ada, Osun State among others. Dei’s former colleague at Ikoyi Club1938 (golf section), Olusegun Daniel beat the
field by one shot to carry the day after shooting 73, one over par at the nine-hole course. Ikeja Golf Clubbased Chidi Tobias tied Dolphin’s resident professional, Francis Ugbong as runner-up. “You can see here that a lot of our members turned up and stayed long at the club even after their game. It was a way of saying a big thank you to the player many believed was one of
the foundation members of this club,” Ugbong stated. He added that many of his colleagues were not participating in the tourney for any honour, but as a respect for their departed colleague. Also at the tourney, General Manager of the Professional Golfers’ Association of Nigeria (PGAN), Mike Alika informed that the life insurance claims for the late player was ready and would soon
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
In association with
STRENGTH TRAINING FOR TENNIS Tennis is a game of “explode and recover,” and training for this will kick your game up a notch.
By Sean Craft HAT makes tennis such a challenging W and unique sport is that it requires a combination of physical as well as mental skills in order to become a successful player. Whereas most sports place a great deal of emphasis on either strength (**ital)or(**reg) speed (**ital)or(**reg) endurance (**ital)or(**reg) mental acuity to excel, tennis requires a mastery of all of these. In order to train properly for tennis, attention must be paid not only to developing muscle strength, but also towards muscle speed, muscle endurance, balance, and the development of explosive power. After all, when you get right down to it, tennis is a game of explode and recover—short bursts of high-energy output followed by 25 seconds or less of rest. It is with an eye toward the development of
this explosive power that we turn our attention in this first of a two-part series. In this first installment we will focus our efforts on exercises to be performed in a gym setting with free weights and a medicine ball. Training for explosive power is one of the more challenging, yet at the same time rewarding methods of training for tennis. For anyone new to weight training it is imperative that you first build up a base level of strength— typically 3 to 4 weeks on a regimen of two sessions per week with a heavy focus on the legs. Once that base level has been established it is generally safe to perform this type of training twice a week, and it is certain to kick your physical conditioning as well as your game into high gear.
Explosive Squat To be performed with free weights. Using an underhand grip and a dumbbell approximately 65% to 80% of your 1RM (maximum weight
you could lift if you only had to lift it once), grip the head of the weight with both hands (as pictured), and lower yourself into a squat position. At the bottom of the squat, push off the ground with both legs in an explosive fashion toward the ceiling while still holding on to the weight. For a more advanced variation, see the next exercise.
Explosive Squat & Box Jump Place light weights in each hand and position them just above the shoulders. Squat down to your full range of motion, then jump up and land on a bench placed roughly 2 feet off the ground. Step off and repeat a total of 10 times, 2 to 3 sets.
Squat, Jump Throw, and Catch To be performed with a medicine ball. With an overhand grip, place both hands on the medicine ball and squat down to your full range of motion. On the way up, throw the medicine ball straight up in the air as high as you are able to, then catch the ball on its way back down to the ground. Perform 10 times, 2 to 3 sets.
Off-the-Wall Side Throws To be performed with a medicine ball and a wall. Using a squared stance with a deep knee bend (as pictured), grab the medicine ball with both hands and at waist level implement a full shoulder turn toward the wall, positioned not more than a few feet away. Throw the medicine ball into the wall in the same manner in which you would execute your forehand (full shoulder to shoulder rotation) and then catch the ball on the rebound before it hits the ground. Perform 10 times off the forehand side, and 10 times off the backhand side for 2 to 3 sets each.
Sean Craft is a USPTA-certified tennis professional and an ISSA-certified personal trainer. He lives in Tampa, Fla., where he teaches tennis at the Saddlebrook Resort & Academy. He authors a tennis column available for public viewing at: http://www.examiner.com/x-8182-Tampa-TennisExaminer.
Backwards Throw for Distance
To be performed with a medicine ball. With an underhand grip, place ball in both hands with your back facing your intended throwing target area. Squat down to your full range of motion, then on the way back up release the ball over your head and as far out as you are able to. Perform 10 times seeking to increase or at least match the distance from the previous throw at each attempt, 2 to 3 sets.
Step Off, Jump and Reach
With a partner, to be performed with a medicine ball and a bench. Start by standing on the bench, then stepping off as normal. When both feet have touched the ground, partner then throws medicine ball up in the air while person stepping off the bench jumps off the ground as high as they are able to seeking to catch the medicine ball at the high point of its toss from the partner. Perform 10 times, 2 to 3 sets.
PHOTOS BY LUTHFUR MIAH
THE GUARDIAN, Friday, April 26, 2013
INSTRUCTION By Bobbye DePaul HESE days, money is often top-of-mind. With the weak economy affecting so many, we want our dollars to work hard or stay home, expecting value, whether it’s at the grocery store when we’re stocking our pantries or on the tennis court when we’re investing in instruction. But, while saving on groceries can be as simple as clipping coupons, maximizing the value of your tennis pro is more complex. The key is to develop a strategy for your tennis lesson, the same way you develop a strategy for an important match. Making an investment in yourself—in improving your skill as a tennis player and the enjoyment you reap from the game—is a wise choice. Maximizing your investment in this economy? Even wiser! Set your strategy using these guidelines and you’ll end up richer in so many ways. Strategy 1: Know What You Want A good lesson begins with a game plan—your game plan, not the pro’s. Only you know what areas of your game you want to improve upon and the number of lessons you can afford. Perhaps you can’t make it to the next level with your loopy serve. Or your backhand is a weakness opponents are picking on. Maybe you want to work on volleys to get more points at the net. Take some time to analyze what you want to learn. Then make a list of no more than three things you want to concentrate on in your next lesson or series of lessons and prioritize those three things. Now that’s a game plan. Strategy 2: Communicate Up Front Stepping on the court with a teaching pro can be intimidating, especially if you are new to tennis or to the pro. You may feel defensive as the pro evaluates your strokes, takes a look at your serve and checks out your ability to react to the ball. Feeling nervous and defensive can cause
Making the Most of Your Teaching Pro
“Develop a strategy for your tennis lesson, the same way you develop a strategy for an important match.” you to lose track of your priorities. That’s why it’s important to communicate your game plan to the pro before you ever step on court. Ask for time to discuss the items on your list before your lesson begins. Elaborate and answer questions the pro may have. While you are paying for the pro’s time and may feel in a hurry to pick up your racquet, a few minutes of discussion can add value in the long run. Strategy 3: Stay On Track It’s easy to get derailed during a lesson, especially if your pro begins to focus on areas of your game that aren’t on your priority list. While you may start out concentrating on your No. 1 priority, such as eliminating a glitch in your forehand follow-through, a good pro will
also notice if your footwork is poor as you set up for the shot. Before you know it, you could spend a significant portion of your lesson working on footwork drills—how to set up for ground strokes, how to move up to an approach shot and how to step into volleys. The key is to politely acknowledge your pro’s observations, while reminding him or her of your personal priorities for the lesson. Ask if the pro would be willing to remind you of his or her thoughts about additional areas of concern at a later date. In other words, take the responsibility to re-direct. Strategy 4: Play To Their Strengths In a match, we learn to observe and play to the weaknesses of our opponents, but when work-
ing with tennis pros it pays to play to their strengths. Is your pro a better talker or demonstrator? If he or she stumbles through a long explanation of how to hit an overhead, ask to be shown instead. Is he or she all about stroke development or is strategy a strong suit? Observe the trends in his or her instruction to see if they closely match your needs. If not, it may be time to seek another point of view. Strategy 5: Dare to Share Sometimes a semi-private lesson is better all around. Share with one other person and your cost could be cut in half, although some teaching pros do up-charge a bit for a semi-private. In any case, your savings will be significant. And, while you won’t enjoy the pro’s undivided attention, you’ll likely get about all you can handle. A short break can be most welcome, especially on sizzling hot summer days. Just be sure that you discuss goals and priorities with the other player to arrive at a shared lesson strategy. Strategy 6: Mind Your Manners Ideally, you and your pro should work as partners in a quest to develop your tennis game. Treat the pro with the same respect you wish to be treated with. Be on time for your lesson and come equipped to play, complete with water and a good attitude. When your time is up, respect the pro’s schedule and let him or her move on to the next lesson. And always come with payment in hand, never a lame excuse and an I-O-U. After all, you’re the pro’s bread and butter. Bobbye DePaul is a club player, novelist and advertising copywriter from Paradise Valley, Ariz. She can be reached at email@example.com or depaulcreative.com.
WINNING TENNIS By Kelly Gunterman HE dilemma: You are on a team with a group of your friends and you want to get better—but not so much better that you have to move to another team. In other words, you would like to stay with your friends but win more matches. Here are a few things you can do to increase your win/loss percentage without spending a fortune on lessons and being forced to move to a higherlevel team, leaving your friends and teammates behind and leaving a team you love to play for. Learn the Difference Between an Offensive and Defensive Ball Don’t try to hit every ball the same way. An offensive ball—or a “go ball,” as I will call it—is a ball that you have time set up on and you feel comfortable taking a swing at. By all means, if you have the “go ball,” swing out, make your shot and have fun with it. If you get a ball that pushes you back or wide or you just don’t feel comfortable hitting, this would fall into the defensive area, or “no ball.” Hit this ball higher and slower, make your opponent hit it one more time. I am not by any means suggesting you become a pusher or a lobber, but learn the difference between a “no ball” and a “go ball.” There will also be shots that fall into the “maybe” category. This is a shot
Learn To Win Without Changing Your Strokes you may feel good about on a given day or against a given opponent. On a good day, hit out. On a bad day, hit higher and play a high-percentage game. And here’s something else to think about: The farther you run to hit a ball, the higher you want to hit the return. This does a couple of things: First, it takes the net out of play, if it goes over the net you have a chance if the other guy missing the return. Second, if you are out of position, the higher you hit the return the more time you have to get back in position for the next ball. 80 Percent of All Points Are Lost At the recreational level, 80 percent of all points are lost. It’s sad but true. This thought will bring us back to knowing the difference between an offensive ball and a defensive ball. When in doubt, keep the ball in play and give your opponent another chance to make the error. Sure, they may hit a winner. But then, they may make an error or they may hit it back and give you an easier ball on the next shot. If you get another difficult ball, throw it up again and make them hit yet
another shot. Keep making them hit the ball, the more times you force them to hit one more shot the better chance you have of winning the point. The odds are with you. Develop A Second Serve Spend at least as much time developing a reliable second serve as you do practicing your first serve. You will live and die with your second serve. Think placement and depth more than power. Keeping the ball deep will keep your opponent back and allow you to develop the point. Learn to hit with more spin, which will help with the consistency. Play to the Big Areas of the Court This too goes along with playing a higher percentage style of tennis. As you prepare to hit your next shot, your thought should be to hit to the big area of the court—think BIG SPACE. Let your opponent hit to the smaller, lower percentage areas of the court. Cross court is always the bigger, higher percentage shot than the tempting down-the-line winner (the alley of lost dreams): bigger space + lower net = higher percentage tennis, resulting in more points
won. Stay Active, Move With Your Partner When you are playing doubles you should move at least a step every time the ball is hit. If your partner moves wide to cover a ball, you should be moving toward the middle. If they move back for an overhead, you should move back a step or two with them. With this as your thought pattern you will always be moving and not becoming a spectator. If you become flat-footed, your opponent will hit a ball at you and you won’t be ready. Be active and you will be more in the point, resulting in better movement and a much better sense of awareness on the court. As you learn to be more active, you will have a sense of filling up more of the court, taking away the easy shots and forcing your opponent to hit into the smaller (lower percentage) areas of the court. Don’t Start Every Point From the Same Spot In doubles, try moving your starting position. For instance, play both back every now and then. This is very effective if you’re playing someone with a big first serve. With this as your starting position, if you get pulled in with a short ball, move in together, staying with your partner. Try the Australian formation, simply move the net player to the same side as the server, (the server will stand closer to the middle of the
court). This is effective if your opponent has been hitting great returns crosscourt. Keep moving and keep trying new starting positions. This will keep your opponents off guard and give them something else to think about. Keep your opponents thinking. Anytime you put another thought in their head it may keep them from focusing fully on their next shot, which again is a higher percentage play for you. Most of all, though, have fun! Remember, a bad day on the tennis court is better than a good day at work.
Kelly Gunterman, whose Gunterman Tennis Schools have taught thousands to play tennis, is director of tennis at Amelia Island Plantation in
Friday, April 26, 2013
Conscience, Nurtured by Truth
By Adewale Kupoluyi HERE is the urgent need to curb the growing tension in the Korean Peninsula over the fear of a possible nuclear strike against the United States and its allies. Since the three-year Korean War that led to the split of the North with the South in 1953 ended in an armistice, rather than a treaty, North Korea has pursued a policy of arms acquisition, while South Korea has benefited from a policy of sustained industrial development and economic prosperity. The nation’s supreme and youthful commander, Kim Jong-un had ordered North Korean forces, including its artillery, rockets, and missiles, to “enter No 1 combat ready posture” by firing a long-range rocket that splashed down near the Philippines. Pyongyang claimed the combat was a peaceful satellite launch but the United States and its allies said that the launch was aimed at developing ballistic missile capabilities. This offensive is believed to be an effort at either bolstering the leadership of Kim Jong-un, the 30-year-old grandson of Kim IlSung or an indirect strategy - to force the United States, which has 28,000 troops in South Korea - to open talks with North Korea. North Korea has indicated that it wants recognition as a nuclear weapons state — seen as a guarantor of the regime’s survival: A dream the United States is strongly against. North Korea had based its posturing on alleged provocations by the U.S. and its South Korean “puppets”. The North has also been angry about annual military exercises between U.S. and South Korean forces, describing them as a “hostile” act. The United States dispatched B52 and B2 stealth bombers from their bases to take part. To North Korea, threats of deployment of weapons of mass destruction by the communist half of the peninsula are meant to serve a dual purpose of a bargaining counter to attract international aid and shoring up domestic support for the country’s leadership. During the time of Kim Jong-un’s father, there were discussions undertaken to convince North Korea to abandon its nuclear programme in exchange for aids. A typical example was in 2005, when it seemed Pyongyang was ready for a discussion on the platform of the Six-Party Talks, to renounce its nuclear programme. Apart from giving up its uranium enrichment programme, North Korea was expected to sign a treaty, allowing a team from the International Atomic Energy Agency to inspect its nuclear arsenal. Although promised a restoration of relations with the U.S., supply of oil and construction of two water reactors, the North Koreans never fulfilled their part of the bargain. It is believed that North Korea is merely operating from a playbook of steadily upping the ante and had planned-out actions to coincide with the inauguration of conservative South Korean President Park Geun-Hye. North Korea too has a history of taking drastic actions on the birth anniversary of the regime’s founder Kim Il-Sung, grandfather of Kim Jong-un. The North Korea’s Rodong-1 missile is said to have a range of 1,300 kilometers (800 miles). To pre-empt such attacks, the United States stations 28,500 troops in South Korea and around 50,000 in Japan. It also keeps nearly 6,000 troops in Guam, a base for fighter-bombers and submarines, and 50,000 troops in Hawaii and more than 40 U.S. Navy vessels are permanently based in the Pacific with plans to increase the number as part of a growing U.S. focus on Asia. In the past, North Korea had been known to
The U.S, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea should find a way of convincing North Korea that hope does not lie in warmongering, but in economic and social emancipation. The organisational structure of North Korea, which was modeled after that of Stalinist Russia, with a large focus on military build-up, should be reviewed in line with modern day realities.
North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and its continued military adventures were overshadowed by famine in the late 1990s having suffered first through horrific flooding and then through drought. Because of famine, a failing economy, and a disintegrating infrastructure, Pyongyang now relies on international aid to survive. From the forgoing, North Korea does not have the resources to sustain a very large military and build a dynamic economy.
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Curtailing North Korea’s excesses have made surge into South Korea, leading to the Korean War that followed pulled in forces from the United Nations, the United States, and China, as well as military advisors from the USSR and lasted till 1953. In 2005, North Korea announced that it had completed its first underground nuclear test, while its ongoing nuclear programme continues to be a point of contention in the international community despite the outcry over alleged violations of human rights. North Korea’s nuclear ambitions and its continued military adventures were overshadowed by famine in the late 1990s having suffered first through horrific flooding and then through drought. Because of famine, a failing economy, and a disintegrating infrastructure, Pyongyang now
relies on international aid to survive. From the forgoing, North Korea does not have the resources to sustain a very large military and build a dynamic economy. Its depressed economy is sustained only by food and oil provided by China, and the manual labour of its civilian work force digging out minerals or preparing raw materials for export, mostly to China. With the latest moves, no one is too sure of what could happen especially under a new and untested leader such as Kim Jong-Un. For instance, it is feared that his action could be an error of judgment that could result in a suicidal move of North Korea attacking U.S. interests or invading South Korea. Although analysts have dismissed North Korea’s threats as empty, given that noth-
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ing had happened when similar threats were issued in the past. In the event of any onslaught, U.S. has vowed to shoot down any North Korean missiles if targeted at a U.S. territory or one of its allies such as South Korea or Japan. Unfortunately for North Korea, its traditional allies are gradually becoming tired of its antics. Quite surprisingly, China recently voted in favour of sanctions against its recalcitrant and bellicose ally. Conscious of its growing influence as a world political and economic power, China is no longer ready to waste time and resources propping up a country whose mischief and hard-line stance are fast becoming an embarrassment to the rest of the world. As pressure mounts, President Barack Obama has called on North Korea to end what he described as its “belligerent approach” as U.S. intelligence officials concluded for the first time that the country has a nuclear weapon small enough to be carried on a missile. The United States has offered talks, but on the pre-condition that it abandons its nuclear weapons ambitions, which North Korea deems as a “treasured sword” and never to be given up. The tension in the Korean Peninsula reinforces the belief that, with the transition of Kim Jong II and the emergence of Kim Jongun, not much has changed. Most importantly, while it’s important to show resolve, the United States and South Korea need to continue to be strategic and prevent Kim’s provocations to lead to a dangerous confrontation. The U.S, China, Russia, Japan and South Korea should find a way of convincing North Korea that hope does not lie in warmongering, but in economic and social emancipation. The organisational structure of North Korea, which was modeled after that of Stalinist Russia, with a large focus on military build-up, should be reviewed in line with modern day realities. Despite current realities, Kim continues to stuck with his Stalinist philosophy even as his weird communist neighbours gradually evolved democratic governments, first in 1956, when Soviet leader Nikita Khruschev made sweeping denouncements of Stalin, followed 10 years later by Mao Zedong’s Cultural Revolution in China. Kim Jong-un, believed to be in his late 20s appears to be secure in his rule, at least on the surface, he, however, needs to establish his own credentials separate from the revolutionary legacy of his grandfather and the failed military-first politics of his father. Confrontation with the United States, South Korea and virulent nuclear threat will not be helpful in this dangerous adventure by Pyongyang, which continues to boast that it will strengthen its nuclear capacity. However, as long as the North clings to its nuclear weapons and missiles, it will not be able to form the friendly international mood that is essential for economic development, let alone convince other countries to shelve their hostile policies toward the North as Kim himself has demanded. It should respond with enthusiasm to the opportunity for talks that is unfolding. The ROK-U.S. summits scheduled for May 7 will be a good opportunity to do just that. The U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry has also promised that the U.S. is willing to talk directly with North Korea, hinting that a special envoy could possibly be sent to the North before long. What will be helpful for the authorities in Pyongyang is to toe the line of peace by embracing the tenets of democracy that is hinged upon the enthronement of fundamental human rights, freedom of expression, free market and the rule of law. Jong-un should wake up from his slumber of youthful exuberance and live up to expectations as a leader. • Kupoluyi wrote from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta.